Fight against both air and water pollution has become an obligation for OCSE Countries. Particularly, waste collection and disposal are becoming a social problem to be tackled by worldwide Public Administration through new models able to go beyond accounting for financial inputs and towards outputs (outcomes, impacts and service quality) by a dynamic co-productive scheme. Accordingly, recycling policies based on “door-to-door” collection have become widespread. Nevertheless, changes in waste management (WM) changed working activities of waste collectors, transforming also the risks of accidents at work. Musculoskeletal systems of WM employees are deeply exposed to high bio-mechanic and ergonomic risks caused by repeated movements; thus, WM workers tend to develop a higher risk of both injuries and occupational diseases. In this context, Digital Technologies (DT) seem to be an extremely useful element to both optimize public service provision, prevent working accidents and related costs. Thanks to digital wearable health technologies, it is possible to monitor workers’ gestures and correct, in case, their wrong postures taken on during their tasks. This would bring to prevent injuries and its related losses of productivity. Given that no literature has arisen yet about DT impacts on occupational accidents, this study aims at investigating how DT could contribute in improving the WM field, particularly for what regards the prevention of accidents at work together with a reducing of service setbacks. Specifically, this manuscript wants: i) to investigate if DT allow a better governance in Public Agencies performance by reducing social security costs and by guaranteeing a better continuity of services to citizens; ii) to examine which structural change would be requested in order to make operative this predictive risk model in the real working context. To achieve these goals, this study developed a qualitative inquiry based on face to face interviews with two high-qualified experts about DT and wearables. Findings demonstrate a positive impact of DT in detecting critical operating issues in WM services. Particularly, information obtained by digital infrastructures allow management to make more efficient the work organization, reducing potential loss due to waste of time and/or physical resources; moreover, wearables allow to prevent injuries by modifying the workforce management (work shifts, rests, tasks). Finally, this contribution fosters the debate about the potential role of digitalization in Public Administration and Policies. Particularly, this research shows how innovations based on Internet of Things could potentially improve the whole value-chain of public services’ provision.

Prevention ofAccidents at Work through Digital Technologies: Expectation from the Waste Management Field

Gianluca Antonucci;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Fight against both air and water pollution has become an obligation for OCSE Countries. Particularly, waste collection and disposal are becoming a social problem to be tackled by worldwide Public Administration through new models able to go beyond accounting for financial inputs and towards outputs (outcomes, impacts and service quality) by a dynamic co-productive scheme. Accordingly, recycling policies based on “door-to-door” collection have become widespread. Nevertheless, changes in waste management (WM) changed working activities of waste collectors, transforming also the risks of accidents at work. Musculoskeletal systems of WM employees are deeply exposed to high bio-mechanic and ergonomic risks caused by repeated movements; thus, WM workers tend to develop a higher risk of both injuries and occupational diseases. In this context, Digital Technologies (DT) seem to be an extremely useful element to both optimize public service provision, prevent working accidents and related costs. Thanks to digital wearable health technologies, it is possible to monitor workers’ gestures and correct, in case, their wrong postures taken on during their tasks. This would bring to prevent injuries and its related losses of productivity. Given that no literature has arisen yet about DT impacts on occupational accidents, this study aims at investigating how DT could contribute in improving the WM field, particularly for what regards the prevention of accidents at work together with a reducing of service setbacks. Specifically, this manuscript wants: i) to investigate if DT allow a better governance in Public Agencies performance by reducing social security costs and by guaranteeing a better continuity of services to citizens; ii) to examine which structural change would be requested in order to make operative this predictive risk model in the real working context. To achieve these goals, this study developed a qualitative inquiry based on face to face interviews with two high-qualified experts about DT and wearables. Findings demonstrate a positive impact of DT in detecting critical operating issues in WM services. Particularly, information obtained by digital infrastructures allow management to make more efficient the work organization, reducing potential loss due to waste of time and/or physical resources; moreover, wearables allow to prevent injuries by modifying the workforce management (work shifts, rests, tasks). Finally, this contribution fosters the debate about the potential role of digitalization in Public Administration and Policies. Particularly, this research shows how innovations based on Internet of Things could potentially improve the whole value-chain of public services’ provision.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/735943
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