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Thomas Ashton Institute

Digitalisation and complexity

How the digital revolution impacting society can be harnessed to continuously improve safety and health and be best employed to assure a resilient working world.

Vision and scope

The development of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced robotics, widespread connectivity, the internet of things and big data, wearables, mobile device and online platforms, offer the potential for innovation and exciting developments in the workplace, but also present new challenges. By anticipating and addressing the potential opportunities and challenges for occupational health and safety, we can understand the risks and maximise the benefits of such new technologies, while ensuring that working environments are safe. We believe that if well managed, digitalisation can reduce occupational risks, create new opportunities for improving working condition, and thus improve the well-being and productivity of our workforce. This theme is committed to supporting industries to increase adoption of these new digital technologies and maximise the benefits.

Image of blue cogs with computer code and lines at edges

Aims and objectives

  • To understand what digitalisations mean for occupational health and safety.
  • To identify the opportunities for digitalisation to shape our working lives and improve workers’ health and safety.
  • To identify challenges and opportunities on how health and safety related digitalisation is managed and regulated. 
  • To identify key barriers to effective deployment of new technologies and potential practical solutions to increase industry uptake.

Theme leads:

  • Clara Cheung, The University of Manchester
  • Helen Balmforth, HSE