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In Heliyon

The aim of this article is to know the impact that the different Industry 4.0 technologies have on occupational health and safety risks, with special attention to the new emerging risks generated. To achieve this objective, an analysis of the literature was carried out. It allowed us to design a survey that was answered by 130 managers and/or technicians of pioneering companies in the development of Industry 4.0 technologies. Next, 32 of these projects were selected and a multiple case study was conducted through 37 in-depth interviews. Moreover, other source of information were analysed (project reports, technical reports, websites..). The findings highlight that the analysed technologies (Additive Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Vision, Big Data and/or Advanced Analytics, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Robotics and Virtual and Augmented Reality) help to reduce occupational health and safety risks (physical and mechanical). However, its impact depends on the type of technology and the method of application. Influences in new emerging risks (mainly psychosocial and mechanical) have been detected in all technologies except in Internet of Things. In addition, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, machine vision, the internet of things, robotics and virtual and augmented reality help to reduce ergonomic risks and artificial intelligence, big data and cybersecurity psychosocial risks. The results obtained have implications for policy makers, managers, consultants and those in charge of managing occupational health and safety risks in industrial companies.

Arana-Landín Germán, Laskurain-Iturbe Iker, Iturrate Mikel, Landeta-Manzano Beñat


ISO 45001, Industry 4.0 technologies, Occupational health and safety, Occupational risks