Use of on-board information and communication systems with display screens at drivers' workplaces

Project No. IFA 1112

Status:

completed 11/2009

Aims:

The digitization of the world of work and the rapid increase in the use of modern information and communication technology (ICT) has resulted in workers at drivers' workplaces becoming reliant upon the use of on-board information and communication systems with display screens. No longer must these workers merely drive the vehicle; their workplaces often also require them to use a wealth of digital systems.
For a number of reasons, these systems present considerable dangers: distraction, obstruction of visibility, risk of injury owing to the position of the devices, increased danger in the event of an accident owing to splintering etc., and stress.
In addition, the integration of the new technologies raises new issues concerning organization of the work procedures.
Besides the provision of advice to companies on the organization of safe and low-stress workplaces, creation of a BGI/GUV-I is a priority objective.

Activities/Methods:

The methods employed involved the following steps:
Field observations were performed at Fraport and Deutsche Telekom. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in the two companies. The interviews conducted with the employees and management personnel were exploratory in nature rather than being intended to test the hypothesis.
A questionnaire campaign was conducted at Fraport, and items (statistical variables) recorded concerning integration in vehicles within a "service technician" project (parallel study).The results were interpreted statistically and the effects compared with those of reference groups.
In conjunction with the Dekra Technology Center, a typical integration solution for mobile IT was subjected to a crash test.
The safety and usability of a number of typical products were tested in market and product studies.
The results were presented in the form of a study report for the partners in industry, in a number of specialist publications, as a BGI/GUV-I, and in conjunction with the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the transport industry as a leaflet.

Results:

The study revealed that the integration of mobile ICT in road vehicles was associated with safety hazards, in some cases serious.
Legal grey areas were discussed with competent partner bodies (Dekra, TÜV, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority) and addressed in practice by product tests, crash tests and practical recommendations.
Information, legal guidance on the safe integration of mobile ICT at drivers' workplaces, and instructions for the organization of workplaces for the optimum management of stress are being prepared systematically.
As a result, the manufacturers and users in companies have at their disposal a range of areas by which they can improve workplace safety and ergonomics. The information has met with a positive reception from the companies. Practical implementation in the companies, such as the procurement of new mounts based upon the results of the study, is to follow shortly.
Owing to the wide range of companies involved, it was possible for the results to be transferred in abstract form (i.e. the results obtained at the microlevel were applied on the mesolevel by the creation of intersubjectivity) to a generic BGI/GUV-I for IT-supported workplaces and an information leaflet.

Last Update:

29-Mar-2012

Project

Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
  • Berufsgenossenschaft für Transport und Verkehrswirtschaft (BG Verkehr)
  • Dekra
  • Fraport
Branche(s):

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

Gestaltung von Arbeit und Technik, Psychische Fehlbelastungen, Arbeitsbedingte Gesundheitsgefahren

Catchwords:

Ergonomie, Arbeitsmittel, Arbeitsplatzgestaltung

Description, key words:

driver's workplace, mobile IT, technical service, field work, stress, work organization, safety, ergonomics