Extending the Effective Range of Prevention Through Design by OSH Applications in Virtual Reality

  • Peter NickelEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9752)


Prevention through design (PtD) is presented as a concept for designing out risks early in design and across the life cycle. PtD is an internationally recognized initiative and it is a strategy linked to safety disciplines, to the hierarchy of controls, and to new technologies. With two research projects it has been demonstrated how to use VR as new technology for PtD modeling and simulation and as a means for improving OSH early in work systems design. Investigations of virtual reconstructions of virtual accidents supported course of events and root-cause analyses. Dynamic visualizations triggered discussions about safety and usability issues in design. Risk assessments of virtual river locks with standardized components facilitate measures for risk reduction to be fed back to machinery planning. Benefits and limitations of VR applications on PtD were discussed and suggestions for fostering endeavor of PtD were given.


Prevention through design Virtual reality Risk assessment Accident analysis Usability Occupational safety and health 



It is a pleasant duty to acknowledge support for the VR accident study by the Sub-committee ‘Goods Handling, Storage and Logistics’ of the DGUV Expert-committee ‘Trade and Logistics’. Also acknowledged is the support for the VR study on OSH for standardised components of machinery by the German Social Accident Insurance Institution of the Federal Government and for the Railway Services (UVB). The investigations are conducted in close cooperation with the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV). The author is very grateful to the efforts of Andy Lungfiel for developing and discussing the VR scenarios.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA)Sankt AugustinGermany

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