Prevention Through Design – Implementing

Prevention Through Design Implementing Designs

ambience: arc welder

Prevention Through Design is a new field in engineering which aims to include safety in every design starting from when it’s on the drawing board. But even when promising new ideas are developed, getting them implemented can be challenge. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Young-Corbett: The manufacturing sector has a lot of examples for prevention through design solutions.

Deborah Young-Corbett is with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.

Young-Corbett: One of the hazardous operations in manufacturing is arc cutting. It’s a very hot process used to cut metal. And there are many risks associated with this. One of the biggest ones is risk of explosion or fire. The arc cutting equipment has been redesigned in a couple of interesting ways. One is a motion sensor that will detect if the worker is not performing the work correctly. The system will shut itself down.

But coming up with a solution is half the battle.

Young-Corbett: Once we develop a new design whether that’s a new tool, a new piece of equipment, a new way of doing our work, how do we then have that new design adopted in industry? That is a challenge. There are researchers looking into how to diffuse innovations into various industries. And there is no one easy answer.
It is a harder sell when you’re talking about a process change. Now if you can also identify improvements in productivity, efficiency, cost those will sell your idea more quickly than improvements in safety and health, generally. Luckily, a lot of times these innovations do have benefits in productivity and cost as well.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner

Prevention Through Design - Implementing

Even when promising new ideas are developed by engineers, getting them implemented can be challenge.
Air Date:02/14/2014
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Transcript:

Prevention Through Design Implementing Designs

ambience: arc welder

Prevention Through Design is a new field in engineering which aims to include safety in every design starting from when it's on the drawing board. But even when promising new ideas are developed, getting them implemented can be challenge. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Young-Corbett: The manufacturing sector has a lot of examples for prevention through design solutions.

Deborah Young-Corbett is with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.

Young-Corbett: One of the hazardous operations in manufacturing is arc cutting. It's a very hot process used to cut metal. And there are many risks associated with this. One of the biggest ones is risk of explosion or fire. The arc cutting equipment has been redesigned in a couple of interesting ways. One is a motion sensor that will detect if the worker is not performing the work correctly. The system will shut itself down.

But coming up with a solution is half the battle.

Young-Corbett: Once we develop a new design whether that's a new tool, a new piece of equipment, a new way of doing our work, how do we then have that new design adopted in industry? That is a challenge. There are researchers looking into how to diffuse innovations into various industries. And there is no one easy answer.
It is a harder sell when you're talking about a process change. Now if you can also identify improvements in productivity, efficiency, cost those will sell your idea more quickly than improvements in safety and health, generally. Luckily, a lot of times these innovations do have benefits in productivity and cost as well.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner