Workshop on Robotics for Occupational Safety & Health in Industrial Environments

At ICAR 2019, the goal of this workshop is to capture and highlight recent trends in the field of robotics for occupational safety and health (OSH). The OSH paradigm recognizes the direct and indirect consequences, both human and economic, of work-related accidents and disorders. Successful OSH practices, especially in labour-intensive and hazardous work environments, address issues ranging from industrial hygiene, engineering safety, ergonomics, exposure to toxicity, radiation, and explosions, among others. As two separate issues, efforts in OSH have to address “health” and “safety” both individually and concurrently.

From the occupational health perspective, the most frequent threat to workers is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to material handling (> 30% of the worker population in the EU), repetitive movements (63%) and awkward body postures (46%). In the last years, wearable assistive robotic devices have shown their potential benefit in the reduction of the muscular efforts of the operator during manual handling tasks. For instance, lifting and lowering operations could benefit from an assistive device for the lower back of the user. Some other industrial applications would require postural support, where the operator is forced to adopt awkward positions. In an industrial setting, wearable robots could become a daily use equipment. Therefore, its acceptability by the operators is a key design motivation.

From the occupational safety perspective, even routine tasks in certain work environments expose workers to extreme risks, such as disaster response and recovery, nuclear decommissioning, industry (chemical, petro-chemical, and iron & steel), marine and underwater operations, etc. After the Fukushima disaster and following the DARPA Robotics Challenge (2015), the scientific community has seen renewed interest in advanced robotic locomotion and manipulation technologies, focused on substituting human operators in hazardous environments. In recent years, humanoids and quadruped robots have seen advanced trials in real-world environments, providing important learnings in tackling the challenges in autonomous navigation, remote robotic teleoperation in bilateral haptic control, 3D visualization and environment perception, collaborative control, communication bandwidth and latencies, etc.  

The contributors of this workshop will have the opportunity to share their experiences and latest results testing robotic technologies for occupational safety and health. The workshop will provide a forum to discuss new strategies that can be adopted towards real-world deployments of robotics systems for OSH.

Submissions Section



October 10th, 2019


October 20th, 2019 @ 23:59:59 UTC


Extended Abstract Template


Topic Keywords

Exoskeletons, Exosuits, Wearable Robotics, Soft Wearable Robotics, Biomimetic Control, Industrial tasks

Remote Robotic Teleoperation, Humanoids, Quadruped Robots, Remote Sensing and Perception, 3D Visualization and Control, Haptic Master Devices, Bilateral Bi-manual Telemanipulation, Disaster Response, Nuclear Decomissioning, Intuitive User Interfaces, Real-world deployments


Invited Speakers

* Jan Babic (Josef Stefan Institute, Slovenia)

* Francesco Draicchio (INAIL, Italy)

* Paolo Fiorini (University of Verona, Italy)

* Michele Focchi (IIT, Italy)

* Navvab Kashiri, (IIT, Italy)

* Carlo De Petris (INAIL, Italy)

* Kenjiro Tadakuma (Tohoku University, Japan)

 (Updates to come!)

Tentative Agenda

09:00 – 09:10
Welcome Remarks
09:10 – 11:30
Invited Talks (Topic: Occupational Health)
11:30 – 12:15
Poster Shorts
12:15 – 12:45
Poster Presentations
12:45 – 13:45
13:45 – 14:15
Poster Presentations continued
14:15 – 16:30
Invited Talks (Topic: Occupational Safety)
16:30 – 17:00
Round-table Session: "Robotics: Benefits to OSH practices of the future"
Closing Remarks and Conclusion


Organizers Contact

Nikhil Deshpande (Primary contact)
Jesús Ortiz


Abdeldjallil Naceri
Stefano Toxiri


Daegeun Park


Affiliation and Address: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Morego 30, 16163, Genova, Italy. Ph: (+39) 010 2896 1