With 2,975 safety violations in the US alone, the lockout safety routine, one of the most important safety methods in the industry, remains unsafe. This is caused by the limited adherence of companies employees to the preset protocols. Heavy industries primarily focus on the efficiency of their processes and recognise the rising potential of smart product solutions to serve their key safety as efficiency interests. This project aims to meet the demands of the industry by the design a smart lockout use case that enhances the lockout process in terms of safety and efficiency, and that can be adopted by the heavy industry. For the company of TWTG this thesis researches the potential of this product and establishes a digital lockout use case and smart concept design to evaluate the value delivered to the industry. Through an empirical research study knowledge is gathered on the unknown user behaviour in the lockout process and corresponding lockout materials handlings and methods. This qualitative research study uses protocols reviews, user observations and field studies to provide real-life insight on the manifestation of behavioural routines for a leading industry. Consequently, expertise on lockout routines and smart product innovations in the industry is gathered through consultations with ten industry experts to gather verifiable evidence on unsafety and the potential of smart product solutions in the lockout process. This research concludes safety in the lockout process is highly dependent on the correct interpretations of the user. A false perception of safety is easily established when activities are not correctly executed. Positively, smart product solutions provide severe potential for the industry to support correct behaviour of operators and identify the life-threatening violations of the lockout procedure. Moreover, interviews with managing and external stakeholders from the industry state a marginal impact on existing industry materials and lockout routines are demanded in order to introduce smart product solutions successfully. Through a variety of use case evaluations with both managers and operators related to the lockout process, the desired level of disruption to these materials and routines is evaluated for the industry of Royal Vopak. From these insights, a smart lockout use case is established for a sizeable market. The selected smart lockout routine provides pro-active feedback on operators activities and real-time validation of a safe work environment. The ease of implementation is supported by the investigation of compatible solutions with existing materials, low battery power solutions, the LoRa network and wireless communication technologies, allowing to meet the identified context requirements and deliver a feasible product solution. An appearance model of the smart lockout product is developed to allow the industry to emphasise with the developed concept. The safety and efficiency value of the smart lockout use case is revealed through an objective evaluation with eight respondents representing the majority of directly related employees to the lockout process from three industry locations. Consequently, consultations with the deployment and innovation leaders from the industry advocate the establishment of the smart lockout routine. With this study, the company of TWTG desires to deliver a unique safety product for the global market.
Master Thesis: TU Delft repository