NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Design Safety - An Overview.

Vernon RJ
NIOSH 1982 Feb:19-27
The contribution of proper design of equipment to worker safety is discussed. Recent social science research has suggested that improper equipment design contributes significantly to incidences of traumatic injury sustained in the workplace. Ergonomic considerations such as designing machines that interact better with their human operators rather than requiring operators to possess excessive skill to manage their machines are suggested to be very important aspects of workplace safety. Results of a study conducted under the auspices of the Bureau of Labor Statistics which investigated the characteristics and costs associated with work injuries and illnesses in the state of New York during the period 1966 to 1970 may provide insight with respect to the prioritization of safety research needs. Approximately 45 percent of the total number of compensated injuries and 48 percent of their associated direct costs were related to injuries sustained due to working surfaces, vehicles, or machines. Of working surface related injuries, the working surfaces involved were floors in 74 percent of cases. Inside floors accounted for 37.6 percent, outside floors for 19.3 percent, stairs for 13.8 percent, and scaffolds for 3.4 percent. These four subcategories of floor surfaces accounted for 68 percent of the direct costs of working surface related injuries. Over the road type vehicles accounted for 58.7 percent of the injuries and 63.5 percent of the direct costs associated with vehicle related injuries. Metalworking power presses and woodworking saws were the major contributors to machine related worker injuries in this study.
Worker-health; Industrial-safety; Safety-research; Industrial-environment; Equipment-design; Industrial-design; Accident-statistics; Ergonomics
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 82-103
Source Name
Proceedings of the Symposium on Occupational Safety Research and Education, A Dialogue Between Two Communities, January, 1981, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS (NIOSH) Cincinnati, Ohio, Publication No. 82-103
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division