Scoping Review on Human-Machine Interaction and Health and Safety at Work

  • Swantje RobelskiEmail author
  • Sascha Wischniewski
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9752)


Continuous technological developments are ongoing challenges in the design of safe and healthy workplaces. Concepts of human-machine interaction (HMI) are an essential part of these developments which have to be examined constantly with regard to their influence on humane work. In order to map the existing knowledge on relations and design, a scoping review on human-machine interaction in production systems was conducted. Focussing on findings concerning physical and mental health as well as performance and job satisfaction, an extensive selection- and review-process led to the inclusion of 102 studies into the scoping review. The results were split content-based into three subcategories: function allocation, interface and interaction design as well as operation and supervision of machines and systems.

The results on function allocation stress the meaning of a task-oriented assignment of degrees and levels of automation, which both have an influence on workload and performance. Nevertheless, questions of trust and human involvement play an important role, too, and a global optimal balance of performance, workload and subjective feelings has not been found yet. Conclusions concerning the effects of human-machine interaction on mental health cannot be drawn from the studies of the scoping review. The studies dealing with interface and interaction design point to a confirmation of existing guidelines on ergonomic design. Yet, questions concerning mental health and work satisfaction remain broadly unanswered. A successful operation and supervision process is mainly determined by machine and system characteristics such as reliability. The concept of technological coupling may be used to describe the interaction of humans and machines. Studies using this framework indicate a tendency towards a poorer mental health and less intrinsic job satisfaction in cases of tight technological coupling.

Further research should address the relation between mental health and human-machine interaction. Additionally, existing knowledge and guidelines need to be revised with regard to the demands of new technologies and new ways of interaction such as human-robot collaboration.


Human-machine interaction Function allocation Interface design Safety and health at work 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and HealthDortmundGermany

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