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Title: Sociotechnical approaches to workplace safety: research needs and opportunities
Authors: Robertson, Michelle M.
Hettinger, Lawrence J.
Waterson, Patrick
Noy, Y. Ian
Dainoff, Marvin J.
Leveson, Nancy G.
Carayon, Pascale
Courtney, Theodore K.
Keywords: Systems theory
Sociotechnical systems
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © The Authors. Published by Taylor and Francis
Citation: ROBERTSON, M.M. ...et al., 2015. Sociotechnical approaches to workplace safety: research needs and opportunities. Ergonomics, 58(4), pp. 650-658.
Abstract: The sociotechnical systems perspective offers intriguing and potentially valuable insights into problems associated with workplace safety. While formal sociotechnical systems thinking originated in the 1950s, its application to the analysis and design of sustainable, safe working environments has not been fully developed. To that end, a Hopkinton Conference was organised to review and summarise the state of knowledge in the area and to identify research priorities. A group of 26 international experts produced collaborative articles for this special issue of Ergonomics, and each focused on examining a key conceptual, methodological and/or theoretical issue associated with sociotechnical systems and safety. In this concluding paper, we describe the major conference themes and recommendations. These are organised into six topic areas: (1) Concepts, definitions and frameworks, (2) defining research methodologies, (3) modelling and simulation, (4) communications and decision-making, (5) sociotechnical attributes of safe and unsafe systems and (6) potential future research directions for sociotechnical systems research. Practitioner Summary: Sociotechnical complexity, a characteristic of many contemporary work environments, presents potential safety risks that traditional approaches to workplace safety may not adequately address. In this paper, we summarise the investigations of a group of international researchers into questions associated with the application of sociotechnical systems thinking to improve worker safety.
Description: This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Taylor and Francis under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2015.1011241
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20238
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2015.1011241
ISSN: 0014-0139
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Design School)

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