Be prepared to the unknown is the mantra of modern high-risk industries, which are concerned about the effectiveness of their workplace safety & emergency procedures and the performance of their operators in safety-critical tasks. Virtual Reality (VR) applications and Serious Games (SG) provide a quasi-real testing environment that allows industries to detect whether operators are able to perform tasks without performance degradation due to an unbalanced workload. The present study proposes an eXpanded NASA Task Load indeX (X-NASA-TLX) and an Overall Workload Judgement (OWJ) to assess quantitatively the operators’ workload during a synthetic emergency scenario. The case study is represented by a fire caused by a faulty gas line in a steel mill during which the operators are required to comply meticulously with the emergency procedure. The emergency scenario is experienced by using a head mounted display, motion controllers and audio equipment to convey a high sense of immersion. This study shows that VR and SG coupled with the X-NASA-TLX results can be considered as a reasonable means for investigating workload balancing problems. Insights based on the OWJ are reported, thus demonstrating the potential of this approach to support the workplace safety and emergency procedures analysis and (re)design.

Workplace safety and emergency procedures (re)design: A human workload assessment through virtual reality

Longo F.;Nicoletti L.;Padovano A.
2018

Abstract

Be prepared to the unknown is the mantra of modern high-risk industries, which are concerned about the effectiveness of their workplace safety & emergency procedures and the performance of their operators in safety-critical tasks. Virtual Reality (VR) applications and Serious Games (SG) provide a quasi-real testing environment that allows industries to detect whether operators are able to perform tasks without performance degradation due to an unbalanced workload. The present study proposes an eXpanded NASA Task Load indeX (X-NASA-TLX) and an Overall Workload Judgement (OWJ) to assess quantitatively the operators’ workload during a synthetic emergency scenario. The case study is represented by a fire caused by a faulty gas line in a steel mill during which the operators are required to comply meticulously with the emergency procedure. The emergency scenario is experienced by using a head mounted display, motion controllers and audio equipment to convey a high sense of immersion. This study shows that VR and SG coupled with the X-NASA-TLX results can be considered as a reasonable means for investigating workload balancing problems. Insights based on the OWJ are reported, thus demonstrating the potential of this approach to support the workplace safety and emergency procedures analysis and (re)design.
Human Workload; Industrial Emergency; NASA-TLX; Safety & Security; Virtual Reality
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/301196
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