Talk at Ubicomp 2007.
Industrial health and safety is an important yet largely unexplored application area of ubiquitous computing. In this paper we investigate the relationship between technology and organization in the context of a concrete industrial health and safety system. The system is designed to reduce the number of incidents of “vibration white finger” (VWF) at construction sites and uses wireless sensor nodes for monitoring workers’ exposure to vibrations and testing of compliance with legal health and safety regulations. In particular we investigate the impact of this ubiquitous technology on the relationship between management and operatives, the formulation of health and safety rules and the risk perception and risk behavior of operatives. In addition, we contrast sensor- network inspired and smart artifact inspired compliance systems, and make the case that these technology models have a strong influence on the linkage between technology and organization.