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Technology and the Changing World of Work

Why is it a priority?

The world of work is evolving. With Industry 4.0  upon us, more workplaces have begun to adopt new technologies such as robotics and additive manufacturing.  New technologies can make work activities and workplaces safer.  An example is the ‘Smart Construction Worksite’. Leveraging on Internet of Things and 3D data, project managers can access and analyse real-time data of workers, equipment and terrain, with alarms or automatic responses pre-programmed into the system. Another example is the use of specialized drones that can eliminate the need for a worker to access dangerous areas and hence eliminate the hazards leading to possible injuries.  

However, we should continue to identify potential new hazards introduced by new technologies and new ways of work. With new technologies slated to play a big part in the future of work, these will introduce hazards whose potential effects and impact are still not well understood e.g. health effects from inhalation of ultra-fine particles during 3D printing; safety risks when working alongside collaborative robots; prolonged use of mobile devices for work and exposure to nanomaterials. 


Research Needs 

The following research is needed:
  • Identify key WSH risks from new technologies and new work arrangements; and
  • Identify new technologies to improve WSH