Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Pieter A. Cornelissen

11 The Role and Effects of Communication on Occupational Safety: A Review

Authors: Pieter A. Cornelissen, Joris J. Van Hoof


The interest in improving occupational safety started almost simultaneously with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Yet, it was not until the late 1970’s before the role of communication was considered in scientific research regarding occupational safety. In recent years the importance of communication as a means to improve occupational safety has increased. Not only as communication might have a direct effect on safety performance and safety outcomes, but also as it can be viewed as a major component of other important safety-related elements (e.g., training, safety meetings, leadership). And while safety communication is an increasingly important topic in research, its operationalization is often vague and differs among studies. This is not only problematic when comparing results, but also in applying these results to practice and the work floor. By means of an in-depth analysis—building on an existing dataset—this review aims to overcome these problems. The initial database search yielded 25.527 articles, which was reduced to a research corpus of 176 articles. Focusing on the 37 articles of this corpus that addressed communication (related to safety outcomes and safety performance), the current study will provide a comprehensive overview of the role and effects of safety communication and outlines the conditions under which communication contributes to a safer work environment. The study shows that in literature a distinction is commonly made between safety communication (i.e., the exchange or dissemination of safety-related information) and feedback (i.e. a reactive form of communication). And although there is a consensus among researchers that both communication and feedback positively affect safety performance, there is a debate about the directness of this relationship. Whereas some researchers assume a direct relationship between safety communication and safety performance, others state that this relationship is mediated by safety climate. One of the key findings is that despite the strongly present view that safety communication is a formal and top-down safety management tool, researchers stress the importance of open communication that encourages and allows employees to express their worries, experiences, views, and share information. This raises questions with regard to other directions (e.g., bottom-up, horizontal) and forms of communication (e.g., informal). The current review proposes a framework to overcome the often vague and different operationalizations of safety communication. The proposed framework can be used to characterize safety communication in terms of stakeholders, direction, and characteristics of communication (e.g., medium usage).

Keywords: communication, feedback, occupational safety, review

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10 Theme Park Investments: How to Beat the Average: A Case Study from the Netherlands

Authors: Pieter C. M. Cornelis


European theme parks invest approximately 10 percent of their yearly turnover into new rides and park improvements. Without these investments these parks assume not to be a very competitive and appealing daytrip for their target audiences. However, the impact of investments in attracting new visitors is not well-known and seems to differ dramatically between parks. This paper presents a case study from the Netherlands in which a small amusement park applied a suggested, not yet proven, investment method. The results of the investment are discussed in (a) the form of return on investment and (b) the success of the predictions with regard to this investment. Suggestions for future research are presented.

Keywords: entertainment industry, innovation, investments, theme parks

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9 Model Based Optimization of Workplace Ergonomics by Workpiece and Resource Positioning

Authors: Edward Hage, Pieter Lietaert, Gabriel Abedrabbo


Musculoskeletal disorders are an important category of work-related diseases. They are often caused by working in non-ergonomic postures and are preventable with proper workplace design, possibly including human-machine collaboration. This paper presents a methodology and a supporting software prototype to design a simple assembly cell with minimal ergonomic risk. The methodology helps to determine the optimal position and orientation of workpieces and workplace resources for specific operator assembly actions. The methodology is tested on an industrial use case: a collaborative robot (cobot) assisted assembly of a clamping device. It is shown that the automated methodology results in a workplace design with significantly reduced ergonomic risk to the operator compared to a manual design of the cell.

Keywords: ergonomics optimization, design for ergonomics, workplace design, pose generation

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8 Delivery of Positively Charged Proteins Using Hyaluronic Acid Microgels

Authors: Elaheh Jooybar, Mohammad J. Abdekhodaie, Marcel Karperien, Pieter J. Dijkstra


In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) microgels were developed for the goal of protein delivery. First, a hyaluronic acid-tyramine conjugate (HA-TA) was synthesized with a degree of substitution of 13 TA moieties per 100 disaccharide units. Then, HA-TA microdroplets were produced using a water in oil emulsion method and crosslinked in the presence of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Loading capacity and the release kinetics of lysozyme and BSA, as model proteins, were investigated. It was shown that lysozyme, a cationic protein, can be incorporated efficiently in the HA microgels, while the loading efficiency for BSA, as a negatively charged protein, is low. The release profile of lysozyme showed a sustained release over a period of one month. The results demonstrated that the HA-TA microgels are a good carrier for spatial delivery of cationic proteins for biomedical applications.

Keywords: microgel, inverse emulsion, protein delivery, hyaluronic acid, crosslinking

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7 Doping in Sport: Attitudes, Beliefs and Knowledge of Talented

Authors: Kim Nolte, Ben J. M. Steyn, Pieter E. Krüger, Lizelle Fletcher


Objective: The primary aim of this research was to determine the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of talented young South African athletes regarding prohibited performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and anti-doping rules and regulations. Methods: This was a survey study and a quantitative research approach was used. South African TuksSport academy athletes at the High Performance Centre, University of Pretoria and competitive high school athletes at four private high schools in Gauteng completed the survey. A self-determined structured questionnaire was used to establish the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of the athletes. Results: A total of 346 (208 males, 138 females) athletes, age (mean ± SD) 16.9 ±1.41 years participated in the survey. According to this survey, 3.9% of the athletes in this survey admitted to be using a prohibited PED and more than 14% of the athletes said they would consider using a prohibited PED if they knew they would not get caught out. Ambition (46%) and emotional pressure (22.5%) was the primary reasons why the athletes would consider using prohibited PEDs. Even though coaches appear to be the main source of information (PEDs and anti-doping rules), only 42.1% of the athletes felt they were well informed. Conclusion: Controlling doping by means of testing is important. However, it is not sufficient and interventions should include psychosocial programmes planned and developed focusing on changing attitudes towards doping and doping culture, as well as the appropriate education specifically on the health risks of using PEDs.

Keywords: doping, anti-doping, attitudes, athletes and sport

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6 Self-Regulated Learning: A Required Skill for Web 2.0 Internet-Based Learning

Authors: Pieter Conradie, M. Marina Moller


Web 2.0 Internet-based technologies have intruded all aspects of human life. Presently, this phenomenon is especially evident in the educational context, with increased disruptive Web 2.0 technology infusions dramatically changing educational practice. The most prominent of these Web 2.0 intrusions can be identified as Massive Open Online Courses (Coursera, EdX), video and photo sharing sites (Youtube, Flickr, Instagram), and Web 2.0 online tools utilize to create Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) (Symbaloo (aggregator), Delicious (social bookmarking), PBWorks (collaboration), Google+ (social networks), Wordspress (blogs), Wikispaces (wiki)). These Web 2.0 technologies have supported the realignment from a teacher-based pedagogy (didactic presentation) to a learner-based pedagogy (problem-based learning, project-based learning, blended learning), allowing greater learner autonomy. No longer is the educator the source of knowledge. Instead the educator has become the facilitator and mediator of the learner, involved in developing learner competencies to support life-long learning (continuous learning) in the 21st century. In this study, the self-regulated learning skills of thirty first-year university learners were explored by utilizing the Online Self-regulated Learning Questionnaire. Implementing an action research method, an intervention was affected towards improving the self-regulation skill set of the participants. Statistical significant results were obtained with increased self-regulated learning proficiency, positively impacting learner performance. Goal setting, time management, environment structuring, help seeking, task (learning) strategies and self-evaluation skills were confirmed as determinants of improved learner success.

Keywords: andragogy, online self-regulated learning questionnaire, self-regulated learning, web 2.0

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5 Emerging Technologies for Learning: In Need of a Pro-Active Educational Strategy

Authors: Pieter De Vries, Renate Klaassen, Maria Ioannides


This paper is about an explorative research into the use of emerging technologies for teaching and learning in higher engineering education. The assumption is that these technologies and applications, which are not yet widely adopted, will help to improve education and as such actively work on the ability to better deal with the mismatch of skills bothering our industries. Technologies such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, and others, are in a dynamic state of development which makes it difficult to grasp the value for education. Also, the instruments in current educational research seem not appropriate to assess the value of such technologies. This explorative research aims to foster an approach to better deal with this new complexity. The need to find out is urgent, because these technologies will be dominantly present in the near future in all aspects of life, including education. The methodology used in this research comprised an inventory of emerging technologies and tools that potentially give way to innovation and are used or about to be used in technical universities. The inventory was based on both a literature review and a review of reports and web resources like blogs and others and included a series of interviews with stakeholders in engineering education and at representative industries. In addition, a number of small experiments were executed with the aim to analyze the requirements for the use of in this case Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things to better understanding the opportunities and limitations in the day-today learning environment. The major findings indicate that it is rather difficult to decide about the value of these technologies for education due to the dynamic state of change and therefor unpredictability and the lack of a coherent policy at the institutions. Most decisions are being made by teachers on an individual basis, who in their micro-environment are not equipped to select, test and ultimately decide about the use of these technologies. Most experiences are being made in the industry knowing that the skills to handle these technologies are in high demand. The industry though is worried about the inclination and the capability of education to help bridge the skills gap related to the emergence of new technologies. Due to the complexity, the diversity, the speed of development and the decay, education is challenged to develop an approach that can make these technologies work in an integrated fashion. For education to fully profit from the opportunities, these technologies offer it is eminent to develop a pro-active strategy and a sustainable approach to frame the emerging technologies development.

Keywords: emerging technologies, internet of things, pro-active strategy, virtual reality

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4 Changing Behaviour in the Digital Era: A Concrete Use Case from the Domain of Health

Authors: Francesca Spagnoli, Shenja van der Graaf, Pieter Ballon


Humans do not behave rationally. We are emotional, easily influenced by others, as well as by our context. The study of human behaviour became a supreme endeavour within many academic disciplines, including economics, sociology, and clinical and social psychology. Understanding what motivates humans and triggers them to perform certain activities, and what it takes to change their behaviour, is central both for researchers and companies, as well as policy makers to implement efficient public policies. While numerous theoretical approaches for diverse domains such as health, retail, environment have been developed, the methodological models guiding the evaluation of such research have reached for a long time their limits. Within this context, digitisation, the Information and communication technologies (ICT) and wearable, the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting networks of devices, and new possibilities to collect and analyse massive amounts of data made it possible to study behaviour from a realistic perspective, as never before. Digital technologies make it possible to (1) capture data in real-life settings, (2) regain control over data by capturing the context of behaviour, and (3) analyse huge set of information through continuous measurement. Within this complex context, this paper describes a new framework for initiating behavioural change, capitalising on the digital developments in applied research projects and applicable both to academia, enterprises and policy makers. By applying this model, behavioural research can be conducted to address the issues of different domains, such as mobility, environment, health or media. The Modular Behavioural Analysis Approach (MBAA) is here described and firstly validated through a concrete use case within the domain of health. The results gathered have proven that disclosing information about health in connection with the use of digital apps for health, can be a leverage for changing behaviour, but it is only a first component requiring further follow-up actions. To this end, a clear definition of different 'behavioural profiles', towards which addressing several typologies of interventions, it is essential to effectively enable behavioural change. In the refined version of the MBAA a strong focus will rely on defining a methodology for shaping 'behavioural profiles' and related interventions, as well as the evaluation of side-effects on the creation of new business models and sustainability plans.

Keywords: behavioural change, framework, health, nudging, sustainability

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3 Time-Interval between Rectal Cancer Surgery and Reintervention for Anastomotic Leakage and the Effects of a Defunctioning Stoma: A Dutch Population-Based Study

Authors: Anne-Loes K. Warps, Rob A. E. M. Tollenaar, Pieter J. Tanis, Jan Willem T. Dekker


Anastomotic leakage after colorectal cancer surgery remains a severe complication. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent further adverse outcomes. In the literature, it has been suggested that earlier reintervention is associated with better survival, but anastomotic leakage can occur with a highly variable time interval to index surgery. This study aims to evaluate the time-interval between rectal cancer resection with primary anastomosis creation and reoperation, in relation to short-term outcomes, stratified for the use of a defunctioning stoma. Methods: Data of all primary rectal cancer patients that underwent elective resection with primary anastomosis during 2013-2019 were extracted from the Dutch ColoRectal Audit. Analyses were stratified for defunctioning stoma. Anastomotic leakage was defined as a defect of the intestinal wall or abscess at the site of the colorectal anastomosis for which a reintervention was required within 30 days. Primary outcomes were new stoma construction, mortality, ICU admission, prolonged hospital stay and readmission. The association between time to reoperation and outcome was evaluated in three ways: Per 2 days, before versus on or after postoperative day 5 and during primary versus readmission. Results: In total 10,772 rectal cancer patients underwent resection with primary anastomosis. A defunctioning stoma was made in 46.6% of patients. These patients had a lower anastomotic leakage rate (8.2% vs. 11.6%, p < 0.001) and less often underwent a reoperation (45.3% vs. 88.7%, p < 0.001). Early reoperations (< 5 days) had the highest complication and mortality rate. Thereafter the distribution of adverse outcomes was more spread over the 30-day postoperative period for patients with a defunctioning stoma. Median time-interval from primary resection to reoperation for defunctioning stoma patients was 7 days (IQR 4-14) versus 5 days (IQR 3-13 days) for no-defunctioning stoma patients. The mortality rate after primary resection and reoperation were comparable (resp. for defunctioning vs. no-defunctioning stoma 1.0% vs. 0.7%, P=0.106 and 5.0% vs. 2.3%, P=0.107). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that early reinterventions after anastomotic leakage are associated with worse outcomes (i.e. mortality). Maybe the combination of a physiological dip in the cellular immune response and release of cytokines following surgery, as well as a release of endotoxins caused by the bacteremia originating from the leakage, leads to a more profound sepsis. Another explanation might be that early leaks are not contained to the pelvis, leading to a more profound sepsis requiring early reoperations. Leakage with or without defunctioning stoma resulted in a different type of reinterventions and time-interval between surgery and reoperation.

Keywords: rectal cancer surgery, defunctioning stoma, anastomotic leakage, time-interval to reoperation

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2 Prenatal Use of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) and Congenital Heart Anomalies (CHA): An Exploratory Pharmacogenetics Study

Authors: Aizati N. A. Daud, Jorieke E. H. Bergman, Wilhelmina S. Kerstjens-Frederikse, Pieter Van Der Vlies, Eelko Hak, Rolf M. F. Berger, Henk Groen, Bob Wilffert


Prenatal use of SRIs was previously associated with Congenital Heart Anomalies (CHA). The aim of the study is to explore whether pharmacogenetics plays a role in this teratogenicity using a gene-environment interaction study. A total of 33 case-mother dyads and 2 mother-only (children deceased) registered in EUROCAT Northern Netherlands were included in a case-only study. Five case-mother dyads and two mothers-only were exposed to SRIs (paroxetine=3, fluoxetine=2, venlafaxine=1, paroxetine and venlafaxine=1) in the first trimester of pregnancy. The remaining 28 case-mother dyads were not exposed to SRIs. Ten genes that encode the enzymes or proteins important in determining fetal exposure to SRIs or its mechanism of action were selected: CYPs (CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6), ABCB1 (placental P-glycoprotein), SLC6A4 (serotonin transporter) and serotonin receptor genes (HTR1A, HTR1B, HTR2A, and HTR3B). All included subjects were genotyped for 58 genetic variations in these ten genes. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the interaction odds ratio (OR) between genetic variations and SRIs exposure on the risk of CHA. Due to low phenotype frequencies of CYP450 poor metabolizers among exposed cases, the OR cannot be calculated. For ABCB1, there was no indication of changes in the risk of CHA with any of the ABCB1 SNPs in the children and their mothers. Several genetic variations of the serotonin transporter and receptors (SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR and 5-HTTVNTR, HTR1A rs1364043, HTR1B rs6296 & rs6298, HTR3B rs1176744) were associated with an increased risk of CHA, but with too limited sample size to reach statistical significance. For SLC6A4 genetic variations, the mean genetic scores of the exposed case-mothers tended to be higher than the unexposed mothers (2.5 ± 0.8 and 1.88 ± 0.7, respectively; p=0.061). For SNPs of the serotonin receptors, the mean genetic score for exposed cases (children) tended to be higher than the unexposed cases (3.4 ± 2.2, and 1.9 ± 1.6, respectively; p=0.065). This study might be among the first to explore the potential gene-environment interaction between pharmacogenetic determinants and SRIs use on the risk of CHA. With small sample sizes, it was not possible to find a significant interaction. However, there were indications for a role of serotonin receptor polymorphisms in fetuses exposed to SRIs on fetal risk of CHA which warrants further investigation.

Keywords: gene-environment interaction, heart defects, pharmacogenetics, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, teratogenicity

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1 The Impact of an Improved Strategic Partnership Programme on Organisational Performance and Growth of Firms in the Internet Protocol Television and Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial Broadband Industry

Authors: Collen T. Masilo, Brane Semolic, Pieter Steyn


The Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) Broadband industrial sector landscape are rapidly changing and organisations within the industry need to stay competitive by exploring new business models so that they can be able to offer new services and products to customers. The business challenge in this industrial sector is meeting or exceeding high customer expectations across multiple content delivery modes. The increasing challenges in the IPTV and HFC broadband industrial sector encourage service providers to form strategic partnerships with key suppliers, marketing partners, advertisers, and technology partners. The need to form enterprise collaborative networks poses a challenge for any organisation in this sector, in selecting the right strategic partners who will ensure that the organisation’s services and products are marketed in new markets. Partners who will ensure that customers are efficiently supported by meeting and exceeding their expectations. Lastly, selecting cooperation partners who will represent the organisation in a positive manner, and contribute to improving the performance of the organisation. Companies in the IPTV and HFC broadband industrial sector tend to form informal partnerships with suppliers, vendors, system integrators and technology partners. Generally, partnerships are formed without thorough analysis of the real reason a company is forming collaborations, without proper evaluations of prospective partners using specific selection criteria, and with ineffective performance monitoring of partners to ensure that a firm gains real long term benefits from its partners and gains competitive advantage. Similar tendencies are illustrated in the research case study and are based on Skyline Communications, a global leader in end-to-end, multi-vendor network management and operational support systems (OSS) solutions. The organisation’s flagship product is the DataMiner network management platform used by many operators across multiple industries and can be referred to as a smart system that intelligently manages complex technology ecosystems for its customers in the IPTV and HFC broadband industry. The approach of the research is to develop the most efficient business model that can be deployed to improve a strategic partnership programme in order to significantly improve the performance and growth of organisations participating in a collaborative network in the IPTV and HFC broadband industrial sector. This involves proposing and implementing a new strategic partnership model and its main features within the industry which should bring about significant benefits for all involved companies to achieve value add and an optimal growth strategy. The proposed business model has been developed based on the research of existing relationships, value chains and business requirements in this industrial sector and validated in 'Skyline Communications'. The outputs of the business model have been demonstrated and evaluated in the research business case study the IPTV and HFC broadband service provider 'Skyline Communications'.

Keywords: growth, partnership, selection criteria, value chain

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