Nuova ricerca

LUCIA BOTTI

Assegnista di ricerca presso: Centro Interdipartimentale di ricerca sulla sicurezza (CRIS)


Home |


Pubblicazioni

2021 - Attività di traino e spinta di carichi su ruote: analisi sperimentale sull'effetto della variazione di velocità di moto sulle forze iniziali e di mantenimento [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Galizia Francesco, Gabriele; Mora, Cristina; Zecchi, Giorgio
abstract


2020 - A Detailed Investigation on Apparent and Root Causes of Accidents in Manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Melloni, R.; Mosconi, S.; Oliva, M.
abstract

This paper introduces the results of the analysis of 118 occupational accidents occurred in Italy between 2002 and 2015, in manufacturing. The aim was to identify apparent and root causes of such events. Apparent causes are derived from the description of the accidents on reports. Results show that the leading apparent cause was the voluntary adoption of an improper procedure, e.g. the bypass of a risk control measure, followed by the improper use of equipment and lack of coordination. The investigation of root causes was difficult because of the lack of information on human factors and other intermediate causes that lead to the occupational accident. A structured methodology that collects data for the identification of the accident root causes is missing. The collection of such data would allow the identification of leading indicators for occupational accidents in manufacturing and, more specifically, for the mechanisms that cause fatal and serious injuries.


2020 - A thorough investigation on pushing activities in industry: The impact of the variation in the speed of motion and load conditions on initial and sustained forces [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Galizia, Francesco Gabriele; Mora, Cristina; Zecchi, Giorgio
abstract

Pushing and pulling wheeled objects represent a significant part of manual material handling activities in in-dustry. Medical investigations and epidemiological studies proved the correlation between such activities and the occurrence of lumbago, low back pain and adverse effects on the shoulders. The ISO 11228–2:2007 provides the recommended limits for pushing and pulling. Such values are the results of psychophysical studies realized under prescribed speed conditions referring to a slow walk. However, observation of real industrial and service sector environments reveals that workers are required to perform pushing activities at higher speed of motion. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the variation in the speed of motion and load conditions on push forces. 96 subjects performed a total of 2592 trials consisting of pushing an industrial trolley for warehouse applications, at different speed values and load conditions. Results confirm the presence of correlation between the increasing speed of motion and push forces. The findings have practical value for researchers, occupational physicians and ergonomics practitioners.


2020 - Bi-Objective Design and Management of Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems to Optimize Technical and Ergonomic Performances [Articolo su rivista]
Bortolini, Marco; Botti, Lucia; Galizia, Francesco Gabriele; Regattieri, Alberto
abstract

In the last decades, Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMSs) rose as an emerging manufacturing strategy matching the modern industrial and market requirements asking for a wide variety of products in flexible batches. A traditional reconfigurable manufacturing environment consists of dynamic cells, called Reconfigurable Machine Cells (RMCs), including a set of machines called Reconfigurable Machine Tools (RMTs). Such machines are characterized by fixed elements, i.e., basic modules, and dynamic elements, i.e., auxiliary modules, allowing them to perform different operations. Despite their automation level, these systems require the intervention of the human operators in performing specific tasks, e.g., handling of the auxiliary modules from the warehouse to the RMTs and their assembly/disassembly to/from the RMTs. This issue rises relevant ergonomic and safety questions due to the human–machine collaboration. Following this stream, this paper proposes and applies a bi-objective optimization model for the design and management of RMSs. The technical objective function minimizes the reconfiguration time, i.e., the time needed to equip the RMTs with the required auxiliary modules, and the part and auxiliary module travel time among the RMCs. The ergonomic objective function minimizes the repetitive movements performed by the human operators during the working activities according to the ISO 11228-3 standard. Results show the existence of a good trade-off between the two objective functions, proving the possibility to improve the ergonomic conditions of the human operators without excessively increasing the total time needed for RMTs reconfiguration and for part and auxiliary module travelling.


2020 - Door-to-door waste collection: Analysis and recommendations for improving ergonomics in an Italian case study [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Battini, Daria; Sgarbossa, Fabio; Mora, Cristina
abstract

In the last decade, door-to-door waste collection methods have been largely applied by several municipalities in Italy, with the main purpose to achieve higher rates of sorted waste. This approach requires waste collectors to handle a high number of small waste containers during their work-shift, especially in urban areas and historic city centres. Workers may experience ergonomic issues during door-to-door waste collection, due to the characteristics of the waste containers, the waste collection equipment, the work organization and citizens’ behaviour. If not well planned and managed, this activity may expose waste collectors to ergonomic risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders. This study proposes a detailed investigation of the door-to-door waste collection strategy operated in an Italian city centre for the collection of organic municipal solid waste, green waste and residual waste. The aim is to investigate the impact of door-to-door waste collection strategies on the health and safety of the workers involved in this activity. The results show that the lack of proper waste collection equipment determines poor ergonomics conditions during door-to-door collection of green waste. The poor design of operations and technology is the cause of ergonomic issues in the door-to-door collection of organic municipal solid waste and residual waste. Finally, work organization factors impact on the safety and health of all the waste collectors involved in this study. A set of recommendations and suggestions are provided to managers, workers and citizens involved in door-to-door waste collection, showing that this activity can be sustainable if well designed and managed.


2020 - Ergonomics principles for the design of an assembly workstation for left-handed and right-handed users [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Caporale, A.; Coccagna, M.; Mora, C.
abstract

Pain, fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders may be the consequence of awkward and inadequate postures caused by the improper design of work activities and poorly designed workstations. The good design of workstations following the ergonomics principles is necessary to avoid these adverse effects. This study aimed to define a set of ergonomics principles for the design of assembly workstations for both left-handed and right-handed users. An experimental study was performed at the university laboratory involving both left-handed and right-handed users for the assembly of a centrifugal electric pump. The experimental study proved that left-handed and right-handed users differently interact with the objects in the space. Four fundamental ergonomics principles for the design of assembly workstations for both left-handed and right-handed users have been defined, based on the results of the laboratory test. The proposed principles help designers and practitioners during the design of assembly workstations, proving the importance of the ambidextrous design of workstations.


2020 - Including ergonomic principles in the design and management of reconfigurable manufacturing systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bortolini, M.; Botti, L.; Ferrari, E.; Galizia, F. G.; Mora, C.
abstract

In recent years, the adoption of reconfigurable systems represents a primary strategy to improving flexibility, elasticity and efficiency in both manufacturing and assembly. Despite their automation level, such systems still require actions by human operators, e.g. assembly/disassembly auxiliary custom modules. These operations rise safety and ergonomic issues because of the human–machine interaction and cooperation. This paper follows this stream introducing a mathematical model for the design of reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs) requiring manual workers to perform repetitive tasks. The aim is to support the design of efficient and sustainable RMSs aiming at reducing the overall time required for parts, and auxiliary modules travel among the available machines and the time needed for the assembly and disassembly auxiliary module operations, improving the workers’ occupational health and safety. Given the characteristics of the reconfigurable machines, the assembly/disassembly auxiliary modules and the required manufacturing process, the model defines the best assignment of the auxiliary modules to the reconfigurable machines and the part flows. Each solution ensures an acceptable risk level for repetitive movements, as required by regulations on occupational health and safety.


2020 - Modelling job rotation in manufacturing systems with aged workers [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Calzavara, Martina; Mora, Cristina
abstract

The increasing trend of retirement age in Europe represents a critical phenomenon for manufacturing and material handling activities, where repetitive activities, involving the handling of different loads at various frequencies, are usually required. These tasks can lead to occupational diseases and work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which can affect more heavily older workers, due to their decreased functional and physical capacities. On the other side, older workers positively contribute to the manufacturing processes through their expertise and their skills developed over time. This paper introduces a bi-objective mathematical model useful to assign different workers exposed to the risk of repetitive work to various workstations. A person-job fit approach is proposed, which analyses the workers’ physical capacities, competencies and mental and relational skills together with the requirements of each workstation in terms of capabilities and ergonomic load. The aim is to define the activities scheduling through two objectives: the first one considering the matches among workers abilities and workstations activities, the second one reducing the ergonomic risk of repetitive work by varying the assignments during the work shift. The method is also applied to an industrial case, whose results show its applicability and potential benefits, in terms of ergonomics and overall efficiency improvement.


2020 - R2: Drilling into concrete: Effect of feed force on handle vibration and productivity [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Martin, B.; Barr, A.; Kapellusch, J.; Mora, C.; Rempel, D.
abstract

Approximately 1.6 million commercial construction workers in the US use rotary hammer drills for drilling into concrete to insert anchor bolts or rebar. The exposure to vibration may lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders depending on handle vibration acceleration level, hand grip force, and duration of exposure. There is little information on the relationship between feed force (FF), e.g., the push force applied by the worker, and handle vibration. A robotic test bench for rotary hammer drills was used to evaluate the effects of different FF on handle vibration and productivity (e.g., penetration rate and holes drilled). Increasing FF from 95 to 163 N was associated with an increase in total weighted handle vibration (ahv) of 7.2–8.5 m/s2 (slope, p < 0.001) but from 163 to 211 N there was no change in vibration level (slope, p = 0.17). Increasing FF from 95 to 185 N was associated with an increase in penetration rate of 7.2–8.5 m/s2 (slope, p < 0.001) but from 185 to 211 N there was no change in penetration rate (slope, p = 0.49). Based on the maximum allowable duration of exposure to hand vibration, specified by the ISO and ACGIH Action Limits, and the penetration rate, the drilling productivity, in m drilled per day, is greatest for the lowest FF tested. Contractors and construction workers should be informed that when drilling into concrete, the lowest exposure to harmful hand vibration and the best overall productivity occurs when the lowest operational FF is applied during hammer drilling.


2020 - Safety, Ergonomics and Human Factors in Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bortolini, Marco; Botti, Lucia; Galizia Gabriele Francesco, ; Mora, Cristina
abstract

In the recent years, the adoption of reconfigurable systems represents a primary strategy to improving flexibility, elasticity and efficiency in both manufacturing and assembly. Global markets, the increasing need for customization, high quality standards, dynamic batches and short life cycles are the key factors driving the transition from traditional to reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs). Despite their automation level, such systems still require actions by human operators, e.g. material handling, WIP load/unload, tool setup, etc. These operations rise safety issues because of the human–machine interaction and cooperation. Particularly, RMSs require changes of auxiliary modules and tools, based on the manual intervention, to achieve effective system configurations enlarging the produced mix. In this field, embracing the emerging Industry 4.0 technology, a lack of procedures and reference approaches exists to supporting companies and practitioners in analysing the impact on safety and ergonomics coming from the switch from standard to RMSs. This chapter, after revising the literature, standards and reference guidelines, converges to an innovative methodological and operative framework supporting and spreading the integration of safety, ergonomics and human factors in the emerging reconfigurable systems. Deep attention is paid to best-in-class examples, from industry, to strengthen the industrial perspective and applicability.


2020 - Unsupervised fault detection and prediction of remaining useful life for online prognostic health management of mechanical systems [Articolo su rivista]
Calabrese, F.; Regattieri, A.; Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Galizia, F. G.
abstract

Predictive maintenance allows industries to keep their production systems available as much as possible. Reducing unforeseen shutdowns to a level that is close to zero has numerous advantages, including production cost savings, a high quality level of both products and processes, and a high safety level. Studies in this field have focused on a novel approach, prognostic health management (PHM), which relies on condition monitoring (CM) for predicting the remaining useful life (RUL) of a system. However, several issues remain in its application to real industrial contexts, e.g., the difficulties in conducting tests simulating each fault condition, the dynamic nature of industrial environments, and the need to handle large amounts of data collected from machinery. In this paper, a data-driven methodology for PHM implementation is proposed, which has the following characteristics: it is unsupervised, i.e., it does not require any prior knowledge regarding fault behaviors and it does not rely on pre-trained classification models, i.e., it can be applied "from scratch"; it can be applied online due to its low computational effort, which makes it suitable for edge computing; and, it includes all of the steps that are involved in a prognostic program, i.e., feature extraction, health indicator (HI) construction, health stage (HS) division, degradation modelling, and RUL prediction. Finally, the proposed methodology is applied in this study to a rotating component. The study results, in terms of the ability of the proposed approach to make a timely prediction of component fault conditions, are promising.


2019 - Participative ergonomics for the improvement of occupational health and safety in industry: a focus group-based approach [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mosconi, S.; Melloni, R.; OLIVA, MANIVA; BOTTI, LUCIA
abstract

This paper introduces a participative approach to the investigation and promotion of health and safety in industry. The proposed methodology promotes the active participation of the workers in the analysis of consequences and causes of unsafe behaviours that may result in work-related musculoskeletal disorders, accidents, injuries or near-misses. The developed participative technique is the Focus Group with Workers, based on the Fault Tree Analysis method (FGW-FTA). Focus groups are conventionally used by social and behavioural researchers to understand opinions, motivations, attitudes, and mental processes that underlie people behaviours. The innovative procedure in this paper addresses researchers and safety professionals during the focus groups with the workers for the identification of critical risk factors in the workplace. The result is a structured analysis, operated by and with the workers, for the identification of consequences and causes of unsafe behaviours. Finally, the developed methodology addresses the definition of a set of preventive and protective measures, and corrective actions for the improvement of health and safety in the workplace. An experimental study in an Italian boiler manufacturer describes the proposed methodology and the results of the focus groups with the workers. An evaluation questionnaire was elaborated to investigate the workers’ knowledge on occupational health and safety. A second questionnaire was developed to understand the workers’ perception on occupational risks. Each participant was invited to fill in both the questionnaires before and after the focus groups with the workers. The results of the study proved the effectiveness of the developed methodology in improving workers knowledge and perceptions on occupational health and safety.


2019 - Prognostic Health Management of Production Systems. New Proposed Approach and Experimental Evidences [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Calabrese, Francesca; Regattieri, Alberto; Botti, Lucia; Galizia, Francesco Gabriele
abstract

Prognostic Health Management (PHM) is a maintenance policy aimed at predicting the occurrence of a failure in components and consequently minimizing unexpected downtimes of complex systems. Recent developments in condition monitoring (CM) techniques and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools enabled the collection of a huge amount of data in real-time and its transformation into meaningful information that will support the maintenance decision-making process. The emerging Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) technologies connect distributed physical systems with their virtual representations in the cyber computational world. The PHM assumes a key role in the implementation of CPS in manufacturing contexts, since it allows to keep CPS and its machines in proper conditions. On the other hand, CPS-based PHM provide an efficient solution to maximize availability of machines and production systems. In this paper, evolving and unsupervised approaches for the implementation of PHM at a component level are described, which are able to process streaming data in real-time and with almost-zero prior knowledge about the monitored component. A case study from a real industrial context is presented. Different unsupervised and online anomaly detection methods are combined with evolving clustering models in order to detect anomalous behaviours in streaming vibration data and integrate the so-generated knowledge into supervised and adaptive models; then, the degradation model for each identified fault is built and the resulting RUL prediction model integrated into the online analysis. Supervised methods are applied to the same dataset, in batch mode, to validate the proposed procedure.


2019 - The Effect of Speed Variation on Initial and Sustained Forces During Pushing and Pulling Activities: A Preliminary Study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Zecchi, G.; Baruffaldi, G.
abstract

Push and pull activities characterize a significant part of manual material handling tasks in industry. Epidemiological studies show that pushing and pulling activities are associated with shoulder and low back pain. The International Standard 11228-2 describes the approach for risk assessment of push/pull activities, providing the maximum acceptable initial and sustained forces for pushing and pulling. The Standard defines maximum acceptable forces, requiring not to push/pull faster than a prescribed speed limit (0.1 m/s for initial force and 0.3 m/s for sustained force). Previous studies and current practice show that workers push carts faster. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationships between speed variation and push forces for pushing tasks in industry. An industrial cart was pushed at different speed values. Maximum initial and sustained push forces were measured. Results show that increasing speed was highly correlated to increasing push forces. The findings have practical value for researchers, occupational physicians and ergonomics practitioners.


2018 - An integrated holistic approach to health and safety in confined spaces [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Duraccio, V.; Gnoni, M. G.; Mora, C.
abstract

Confined space work is a high-risk activity, posing a significant hazard for both workers and rescuers involved in the emergency response. Risks due to working in confined spaces can be extremely dangerous. The leading cause of accidents and fatalities in confined spaces is atmospheric condition. Further common causes are fire, explosion, ignition of flammable contaminants, spontaneous combustion and contact with temperature extremes. Although confined space work is a high-risk activity, few studies have been oriented aiming to define structured procedures or comprehensive tools to identify and manage the risks of work in confined space. An organized and reliable methodology to assess and control risks associated with working in confined spaces in the process industry is missing. The aim of this paper is to propose a structured procedure for analyzing and managing risks in confined spaces in the process industry. After a first literature review on the topic and an historical analysis on accidents in confined spaces, the authors conceptualize a framework to prevent and manage the risks from working in confined spaces. The tool collects the concepts and requirements from the fragmented regulations on safe work in confined spaces, aiming to support both the assessment and the risk management. Two test cases show the application of the proposed framework showing an ex-post analysis carried out on a real accident occurred during a task execution in a confined space and an ex-ante assessment for risk prevention.


2018 - Bi-objective design of fresh food supply chain networks with reusable and disposable packaging containers [Articolo su rivista]
Bortolini, M.; Galizia, F. G.; Mora, C.; Botti, L.; Rosano, M.
abstract

Packaging is crucial in protecting and handling products through the stages of their logistic networks. Actually, both disposable and reusable packaging containers are used. The former ends its life at the last stage of the distribution chain, the latter requires reverse flows to collect, recondition and, then, reuse it. Costs and emissions associated to the two types of packaging containers are different in nature, i.e. raw materials and landfill cost and emissions vs. reverse logistic costs and emissions, so that their choice is not univocal. Furthermore, such choice heavily affects the supply chain network structure and management. This paper addresses this topic aiming at designing a supply chain network including the packaging container best selection, storage/handling node location and flow allocation. An original bi-objective mixed integer linear programming model supports the decisional process. Despite the approach is general, a deep focus is on fresh fruit and vegetable distribution chain because of disposable and reusable packaging containers coexist in practice. The model looks at the cost and environmental impact minimisation over the whole network getting the Pareto frontier and supporting the logistic managers, industrial practitioners and policy makers in the network design and management. A real instance from Emilia-Romagna region, Italy, showcases the model application getting the economic and environmental optima together with best-balance configurations. Results stress the convenience of mixing reusable and disposable packaging containers to reach a global optimum. 47.1% reusable and 52.9% disposable is a possible good balance configuration reducing emissions while containing the cost increase.


2018 - ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF AN INNOVATIVE PLANT FOR THE WASTEWATER PURIFICATION IN THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bortolini, M.; Botti, L.; Gamberi, M.; Manzini, R.; Mora, C.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

Nowadays, efforts to reduce the resource depletion and environmental emissions from the anthropic activities, are mandatory for sustainable development pattern. Among the key resources to save, pure water is as important as critic due to its scarcity and its essential role for life and growth. Furthermore, during the last decades, rising attention from institutions and industries is toward solutions for the water intensity decrease and wastewater recovery. This paper proposes the environmental assessment of an innovative wastewater collection and purification plant tailored to a mid-size beverage industry aiming at locally closing the loop of the water chain, allowing its recirculation and local reuse. After the description of the functional module features, sizes and design, based on a prototype actually working in Italy, the paper follows the ISO 14040 standards to develop an environmental assessment of the industrial system, quantifying the impact rising from the manufacturing and the assembly phases.


2018 - Ergonomics and human factors in waste collection: analysis and suggestions for the door-to-door method [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Battini, D.; Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Sgarbossa, F.
abstract

Waste collection work is associated with a variety of physical, chemical, and biological hazards. The risk of fatal occupation injuries of waste collectors is higher than in general industry. Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the fatal injury rate in waste collection is significant. This paper shows a detailed analysis of the door-to-door waste collection system in the historic center of an Italian city. Waste collection in urban areas is characterized by high number of small waste containers that need to be tipped into the waste collection vehicle. The aim is to identify risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in waste collection and to provide recommendations for reducing the risk of WMSDs to waste collectors. The analysis of the waste management strategy, the process characteristics and workers’ behavior are described, together with several proposals to improve the ergonomics of the waste collection activity and the safety of waste collectors.


2018 - Perishable products supply chains: Research trends over the last decade [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Baruffaldi, G.; Accorsi, R.; Botti, L.; Galizia, F. G.; Tufano, A.
abstract

With the proliferation of standards and regulations on perishable products quality and safety and the increasing interest of consumers for the credence attributes of the products they purchase, the research on the topic of perishable products supply chain assumes a pivotal role in the supply chain management field. Nevertheless, in the last decades the research focused mainly on inventory management, while the management of the perishable products supply chain as a whole has caught the eyes of scholars just in the recent years. Therefore, this paper presents a survey on the extant literature on perishable products supply chain in order to identify the main research trends over the last ten years and propose future research questions. Firstly, in order to give to the reader an overview of the literature on perishable products supply chain a bibliometric analysis is presented. Particularly, a database containing all the abstracts on the topic over the period 2008-2018 is analyzed through a pattern classification tool. Then, a more detailed literature review of the most relevant papers is presented and finally future research topics are illustrated and summarized.


2018 - The impact of ergonomics on the design of hybrid multi-model production lines in lean manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Piana, F.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

Lean manufacturing is a production method aiming to reduce costs and increase productivity by eliminating waste. Previous studies investigating the variations in the quality of working life due to the implementation of lean manufacturing have shown both negative and positive effects on workers health and perceptions of workplace safety and job satisfaction. This study investigates the impact of ergonomics on the design of manufacturing processes following the principles of lean production. A mathematical model is introduced to address the design of hybrid multi-model production lines with both manual and automatic workstations. The model includes the ergonomic risk assessment ensuring an acceptable exposure of the workers to the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders in hand intensive tasks. The OCRA Index and the Strain Index job analysis methods are included. The aim is to analyze the variations in the solutions of the model, due to the different ergonomic risk assessment method adopted.


2017 - A methodology for the identification of confined spaces in industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Ferrari, E.
abstract

Work in confined space is a high-risk activity posing a serious life-threatening hazard to workers who perform it. Accidents in confined spaces frequently lead to multiple fatalities. The cause of accidents and fatalities due to confined space work is related to the lack of awareness about the presence and the risks of such hazardous workplaces. This paper introduces a methodology for the identification of confined spaces in industry. The aim is to provide a useful tool for helping researchers and practitioners to recognize of confined spaces in industry. Four different characteristics of confinement are investigated: geometric features, access, internal configuration, and atmosphere and environment. The proposed methodology includes the definition of the Confined Space Risk Index (CSRI) for the analysis of the risk related to the investigated confined space. Finally, two case studies show the application of the proposed methodology to two suspected confined spaces in industry.


2017 - Application of a mathematical model for ergonomics in lean manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

The data presented in this article are related to the research article “Integrating ergonomics and lean manufacturing principles in a hybrid assembly line” (Botti et al., 2017) [1]. The results refer to the application of the mathematical model for the design of lean processes in hybrid assembly lines, meeting both the lean principles and the ergonomic requirements for safe assembly work. Data show that the success of a lean strategy is possible when ergonomics of workers is a parameter of the assembly process design.


2017 - Automated entry technologies for confined space work activities: A survey [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Ferrari, E.; Mora, C.
abstract

Work in confined spaces poses a significant risk to workers and rescuers involved in the emergency response when an accident occurs. Despite several standards and regulations define the safety requirements for such activities, injuries, and fatalities still occur. Furthermore, the on-site inspections after accidents often reveal that both employers and employees fail to implement safe entry procedures. Removing the risk is possible by avoiding the worker entry, but many activities require the presence of the operator inside the confined space to perform manual tasks. The following study investigates the available technologies for hazardous confined space work activities, e.g., cleaning, inspecting, and maintenance tasks. The aim is to provide a systematic review of the automated solutions for high-risk activities in confined spaces, considering the non-man entry as the most effective confined space safety strategy. Second, this survey aims to provide suggestions for future research addressing the design of new technologies. The survey consists of about 60 papers concerning innovative technologies for confined space work activities. The document review shows that several solutions have been developed and automation can replace the workers for a limited number of hazardous tasks. Several activities still require the manual intervention due to the complex characteristics of confined spaces, e.g., to remove the remains of the automatic cleaning process from the bottom of a tank. The results show that available technologies require more flexibility to adapt to such occupational environments and further research is needed.


2017 - Carbide-tipped bit wear patterns and productivity with concrete drilling [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Antonucci, A.; Carty, P.; Barr, A.; Rempel, D.
abstract

Drilling into concrete with carbide-tipped bits using a hammer drill is a physically demanding task performed in commercial construction for setting anchors and rebar. Bit wear will not only decrease productivity (rate of penetration) but can also increase drill handle vibration, noise and dust exposure to workers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships between geometric patterns of bit wear and rate of penetration. Image analysis methods were used to quantify 13 geometric parameters of the carbide tip at various levels of wear, and the changes in the geometric parameters were then compared to changes in penetration rate. Two different bit designs were studied. New bits were worn by repeatedly drilling into aged concrete. Penetration rate was determined on a test bench system programmed to drill into aged concrete to a specific depth under force control while the time to complete the hole was measured. Increasing fluke slope, increasing shoulder rounding, and decreasing bit width were highly correlated to reduced productivity. The findings have practical value for contractors and bit manufacturers in providing a method to identify concrete bits that should be replaced due to reduced cutting ability.


2017 - Design of job rotation schedules managing the exposure to age-related risk factors [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Calzavara, M.
abstract

Repetitive work involving manual handling of low loads at high frequency frequently leads to deteriorated posture and movement co-ordination, causing occupational diseases as the most common work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). Older workers are more predisposed to develop WMSD than younger workers because of their decreased functional capacity. The susceptibility for developing WMSD or injury is related to the difference between the demands of work and the worker's ability to perform a demanded activity. Current law requires the adoption of risk control measures to eliminate or reduce the exposure of workers to health and safety risk factors. When repetitive handling is unavoidable, job rotation is an effective risk control method to minimize the exposure of workers to the risks of repetitive movements and awkward postures. This paper presents a mathematical model for the design of activity schedules for aged workers exposed to the risk of repetitive work. The aim is to define the scheduling of the work activities for each worker from a bi-objective perspective. The first objective is to reduce the ergonomic risk of repetitive work by varying the required movements and their intensity during the work shift. The second objective charges the workers with the activities that better fit their skills and abilities. Finally, the proposed model includes the ergonomic risk assessment of each scheduling solution, ensuring an acceptable exposure of the workers to the risk of repetitive work.


2017 - Integrating ergonomics and lean manufacturing principles in a hybrid assembly line [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

Lean manufacturing is a production method that was established in the wake of the Japanese Toyota Production System and rapidly established in the worldwide manufacturing industry. Lean characteristics combine just-in-time practices, work-in-progress and waste reduction, improvement strategies, defect-free production, and standardization. The primary goal of lean thinking is to improve profits and create value by minimizing waste. This study introduces a novel mathematical model to design lean processes in hybrid assembly lines. The aim was to provide an effective, efficient assembly line design tool that meets the lean principles and ergonomic requirements of safe assembly work. Given the production requirements, product characteristics and assembly tasks, the model defines the assembly process for hybrid assembly lines with both manual workers and automated assembly machines. Each assembly line solution ensures an acceptable risk level of repetitive movements, as required by current law. This model helps managers and practitioners to design hybrid assembly lines with both manual workers and automated assembly machines. The model was tested in a case study of an assembly line for hard shell tool cases. Results show that worker ergonomics is a key parameter of the assembly process design, as other lean manufacturing parameters, e.g. takt time, cycle time and work in progress.


2017 - La Banca delle Soluzioni per il lavoro negli ambienti confinati: soluzioni tecnologiche per l'eliminazione dei rischi per gli ambienti di lavoro confinati e per il sovraccarico biomeccanico [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Mora, Cristina
abstract

Il problema della sicurezza nei luoghi di lavoro è oggi più che mai attuale e di elevata urgenza, alla luce dei frequenti infortuni e malattie professionali all’ordine del giorno nelle cronache, che rimarcano la presenza di alti rischi per la salute dei lavoratori. L’approccio dettato dall’art.15 del D.Lgs.81/08 impone l’eliminazione dei rischi, adottando le soluzioni tecnologiche e gli strumenti messi a disposizione dal progresso tecnico. La valutazione delle modalità di lavoro scelte rispetto alle tecnologie disponibili diventa il punto centrale dell’attività degli organi di vigilanza e degli obblighi del datore di lavoro per la messa in sicurezza delle proprie attività produttive. Uno degli ambiti di lavoro che presenta estreme criticità legate alle difficili modalità di svolgimento dell’attività lavorativa è quello degli ambienti confinati. L’ambiente confinato è definito come uno spazio circoscritto, caratterizzato da limitate aperture di accesso e da una ventilazione naturale sfavorevole, in cui può verificarsi un evento incidentale importante, che può portare a un infortunio grave o mortale, in presenza di agenti chimici pericolosi o in carenza di ossigeno. Questo tipo di ambiente non è stato progettato e costruito per essere occupato in permanenza da persone. Tuttavia, talvolta, può essere occupato temporaneamente per l’esecuzione di interventi lavorativi come l’ispezione, la manutenzione e la pulizia. Le attività lavorative all’interno degli ambienti confinati espongono pertanto i lavoratori ad un elevato rischio per la loro salute e sicurezza. I numerosi infortuni mortali accaduti negli ultimi anni in Italia a lavoratori che operavano in ambienti confinati provano la criticità di questa tipologia di lavoro e l’elevato rischio correlato sia all’attività svolta che alle caratteristiche dell’ambiente circostante. In linea con quanto dettato dal D.Lgs.81/08 e con le rilevanti problematiche di rischio nei due ambiti sopra descritti, nel Marzo 2014 nasce il gruppo di lavoro Banca delle Soluzioni, con lo scopo di individuare soluzioni tecniche e tecnologiche in grado di eliminare, ridurre o limitare il rischio in condizioni lavorative particolarmente critiche per la salute e la sicurezza dei lavoratori, quali la movimentazione manuale carichi e il lavoro negli ambienti confinati.


2017 - Soluzioni tecniche per l'ergonomia del lavoro e applicazioni in diversi settori produttivi: una procedura e la Banca delle Soluzioni [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Mora, Cristina; Zecchi, Giorgio
abstract

Le attività lavorative che richiedono la movimenta- zione manuale di carichi (MMC), i movimenti ripe- titivi e l’assunzione di posture incongrue1 possono comportare un notevole stress per l’intero apparato muscoloscheletrico, interessando principalmente il collo, le spalle, gli arti superiori, la schiena e anche gli arti inferiori. Tale sovraccarico è aggarvato dalla presenza di alta frequenza e/o di tempo di lavoro prolungati. Lo studio del sovraccarico biomeccanico dovuto alla movimentazione manuale dei carichi, ai movi- menti ripetitivi e alle posture incongrue è oggetto di numerose ricerche e pubblicazioni volte ad appro- fondire i temi della valutazione dei rischi specifici e dell’approccio ergonomico nella concezione dei compiti e dei posti di lavoro, entrambi utili a elimi- nare o ridurre il rischio di insorgenza di disturbi, patologie e lesioni muscoloscheletriche.Le norme tecniche e le buone prassi pubblicate dagli organismi nazionali e internazionali, alcune delle quali sono citate e brevemente descritte nel Capitolo 2, condividono tale linea di pensiero divenendo gli strumenti da privilegiare nella gestione quotidiana della sicurezza e della prevenzione negli ambienti di lavoro. Nel Capitolo 3 sono riassunti alcuni dei prin- cipi dell’ergonomia fisica applicabili ai compiti e ai posti di lavoro. Successivamente vengono descritte alcune soluzioni tecniche, per lo più innovative e pro- totipi di progetti di ricerca, per il miglioramento del- l’ergonomia delle postazioni di lavoro in diversi ambi- ti lavorativi. Le stesse soluzioni sono contenute anche nel database Banca delle Soluzioni | Ergonomia – Sovraccarico Biomeccanico consultabile online, di cui si tratterà in seguito. Il progetto di ricerca che ha portato alla nascita della Banca delle Soluzioni è frutto della collaborazione tra il Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale dell’Università di Bologna e l’Azienda USL di Bologna. Lo scopo è quello di promuovere lo svilup- po di strumenti informativi in grado di sostenere e aggiornare i Servizi di Prevenzione e Sicurezza in ambiente di lavoro (SPSAL) e le Aziende stesse rispetto all’automazione, alle soluzioni disponibili e agli strumenti di miglioramento dell’ergonomia del lavoro e delle attività caratterizzate da MMC, lavoro ripetitivo e posture statiche incongrue. Al fine di for- nire uno strumento utile alla pianificazione, alla scel- ta e all’attuazione di soluzioni per la riduzione dei rischi, nel Capitolo 5 di questo articolo si propone un protocollo per la gestione degli interventi di migliora- mento dell’ergonomia: i modelli sono differenziati per il mondo manifatturiero in generale e per l’edilizia. Il Capitolo 6 riporta due casi di studio, ovvero due applicazioni relative alle soluzioni tecniche adottate in due differenti processi industriali dove il confronto tra il rischio presente prima dell’introduzione delle solu- zioni tecniche e i risultati raggiunti successivamente hanno dimostrato la validità e l’utilità del protocollo proposto. Le conclusioni di questo studio sono ripor- tate nel Capitolo 7, fornendo alcuni spunti di riflessio- ne e suggerimenti pratici per coloro che intendono adottare delle soluzioni tecniche volte al migliora- mento dell’ergonomia del lavoro manuale.


2017 - Tackling the water scarcity problem in rural areas: Guidelines and best design practices [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Piana, F.; Botti, L.; Casto, A.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

Pure water is the key resource of the Earth's life. Its availability is as important as critic especially in the developing regions, within areas stricken by natural catastrophes or wars and in humanitarian camps. The lack of drinkable water makes daily life almost impossible, forcing people to make strong efforts to survive. Furthermore, during the last decades, humanitarian organizations invested funds to improve solutions to strike the lack of drinkable water in overpopulated areas. Different improvements made in the last decades on water desalination, the most critical water filtration. These plants should be the answer also in humanitarian sector and in developing regions to tackle the problem of scarcity of drinkable water. Nowadays several desalination technologies and plants are available: however, due to them characteristics, nonporous membranes for the raw-water desalination and purification could be the most feasible solution for this difficult field. Reverse osmosis (RO) or Forward Osmosis (FO) plants allow producing ultra-pure drinkable water from water resources caught in nature, e.g. sea, rivers, lakes and aquifers. This paper starts from a critical review of the topic and of the most promising technologies for water purification. After that, it proposes a mix of guidelines and best design practices targeted on nonporous membrane technologies to produce ultra-pure drinkable water targeted on rural, i.e. severe, environments. The final long-Term goal is to support humanitarian logistics operating in critical contexts.


2016 - Adopting IOT technologies to control risks in confined space: A multi-criteria decision tool [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, L.; Bragatto, P. A.; Duraccio, V.; Gnoni, M. G.; Mora, C.
abstract

Work in confined spaces is still causing fatal accidents and injuries, despite the reinforcement of the worldwide regulatory and standards. Confined spaces are defined as limited or restricted areas not designed for continuous occupancy where employees enter and perform a specific task. Examples of confined spaces include, but are not limited to tanks, vessels, silos and pipelines. Several publications, reports and recent news demonstrate the great impact of such risks on the occupational safety level, showing high accident rates and multiple-fatality incidents. This study aims to evaluate the potential contribution of Internet of Things (IOT) technologies to prevent and control the risks of confined space work. After a first legislative overview and a literature review on the topic, the authors conceptualize an AHP (Analytical Hierarchy process) model for analysing how critical factors affecting dangerous scenarios in confined spaces could affect the assessment of an IOT based device for preventing and managing confined spaces risks. The model aims to support both safety managers and risk analysts in reducing hazards in confined spaces. A case study in the chemical industry is proposed to validate the approach.


2016 - Banca delle soluzioni: Soluzioni tecnologiche per l'eliminazione o la "riduzione del rischio" per gli ambienti di lavoro confinati e per il sovraccarico biomeccanico [Articolo su rivista]
Botti, Lucia; Mora, Cristina
abstract

La Banca delle Soluzioni è il frutto della stretta collaborazione con il Servizio di Prevenzione e Sicurezza negli Ambienti di Lavoro (SPSAL) delle Aziende Unità Sanitarie Locali della Regione Emilia Romagna (AUSL), oltre a Direzione Territoriale del Lavoro di Bologna, Vigili del Fuoco dell’Emilia Romagna, Ordine degli Ingegneri della Provincia di Bologna e INAIL Settore Ricerca Certificazione e Verifica. La collaborazione nasce all’interno del Progetto Banca delle Soluzioni, finanziato da AUSL Bologna, allo scopo di analizzare le condizioni di salute e sicurezza in cui vengono svolte le attività lavorative in diversi settori e comparti. Il risultato è la realizzazione di un documento informativo destinato alla divulgazione, per indirizzare le aziende verso l’introduzione di soluzioni automatiche in grado di sostituire l’operatore manuale durante le attività rischiose negli ambienti confinati e per migliorare l’ergonomia delle posture di lavoro, dei movimenti ripetitivi degli arti superiori e della movimentazione manuale dei carichi.


2016 - Engineering controls and industrial applications for ergonomics [Capitolo/Saggio]
Botti, Lucia; Mora, Cristina; Zecchi, Giorgio
abstract

Repetitive work including manual material handling of loads at high frequency involves a significant stress of the upper limb, mainly affecting hand and wrist, but even shoulders and low back. Lifting, reaching, and performing repetitive activities with moderate force, cause excessive stress on joints and tendons if performed at high frequency or for a long time. These activities commonly lead to deteriorated postures, awkward body positions and muscular fatigue. Such behaviors are the main cause of occupational diseases as cumulative trauma disorders and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), e.g., tendonitis, low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. WMSDs are considered one of the most common and expensive occupational diseases. Furthermore, work-related WMSDs increase the risk of errors and frequently result in reduced productivity and quality. Physical and psychosocial factors as the characteristics of tasks and workers, and the work organization are the main risk factors for work-related WMSDs. Other additional factors include the work conditions as noise, illumination, climate and vibration. The health and safety regulations and guidelines require to eliminate the risk or to reduce the exposure by means of engineering and administrative controls. Specifically, engineering controls eliminate or reduce exposure to a physical hazard through the adoption or substitution of engineered machinery and equipment. Administrative controls, or work practice controls, involve changes in the work organization or in work procedures, e.g., training of workers, safety procedures and job schedules. This chapter presents a brief review on recent innovative engineering controls for the ergonomics of manual workers in several industries (e.g., construction, agriculture, meat-processing, retail and personal service assistance). A procedure for planning the implementation of engineering controls to support the risk elimination or reduction is introduced, together with two practical applications on different industrial workplaces. The ergonomic risk assessment before the introduction of the engineering controls revealed some major risk factor associated with work-related WMSDs. After the adoption of the solutions, the achieved ergonomic improvements led to the reduction of the risk factors. The proposed engineering controls are included in the Solutions Database, a research project for the development of informative documents to support and update the companies about available automated solutions and tools improving ergonomics in occupational environment characterized by manual material handling and repetitive work. The results of this study showed that improving ergonomics and workers’ health and safety is possible even with limited resources.


2016 - La Banca delle Soluzioni [Banca dati]
Botti, Lucia; Mora, Cristina; Ferrari, Emilio
abstract

Banca delle Soluzioni nasce con l’obiettivo di mettere a fuoco il grado di sviluppo tecnologico attuale per individuare gli strumenti idonei a eliminare i rischi alla fonte o a ridurli al minimo, secondo quanto dettato dal D.Lgs 81/2008. Il risultato è una raccolta di soluzioni tecniche e tecnologiche, ad oggi disponibili, per eliminare o ridurre il rischio di attività lavorative pericolose per la salute e la sicurezza dei lavoratori. La Banca delle Soluzioni vuole essere, quindi, un documento informativo destinato alla divulgazione, quale utile strumento per le aziende, gli operatori e i datori di lavoro, per indirizzarli verso l’introduzione di soluzioni automatiche in grado di sostituire l’operatore manuale durante le attività rischiose negli ambienti connati e per migliorare l’ergonomia delle posture di lavoro, dei movimenti ripetitivi degli arti superiori e della movimentazione manuale dei carichi. La seguente raccolta non si propone come un elenco esaustivo, ma rappresenta la prima versione di un documento in continuo aggiornamento, a espressione dello stato attuale del progresso tecnico.


2015 - A framework for preventing and managing risks in confined spaces through IOT technologies [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, Lucia; Duraccio, Vincenzo; Gnoni, Maria; Mora, Cristina
abstract

Confined space work is a high-risk activity, posing a significant hazard for both workers and rescuers involved in the emergency response. Risks due to working in confined spaces can be extremely dangerous. The leading cause of accidents and fatalities in confined spaces is atmospheric condition. Further common causes are fire, explosion, ignition of flammable contaminants, spontaneous combustion and contact with temperature extremes. Recent pilot projects have been developed focusing on the application of Internet of Things (IOT) technologies for confined space work. The aim of the paper is to propose a reference framework for analyzing risks and work procedures in confined spaces. After a first legislative overview and a literature review on the topic, the authors conceptualize a procedure for analyzing the dangerous scenario in confined spaces and for defining the impact of IOT technologies for preventing and managing confined spaces risks. The framework supports both safety managers and risk analysts in reducing hazards in confined spaces.


2015 - Improving ergonomics in the meat industry: A case study of an Italian ham processing company [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Mora, C.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

Meat processing is a labor-intensive industry dealing with manual handling of heavy loads of meat at high frequency. Meat processing workers are under pressure to maintain high rates of work, performing arduous repetitive motions while keeping awkward postures. Ergonomic risk assessments reveal that manual material handling and repetitive tasks expose meat-processing workers to high physical risk. This paper investigates the impact of automated technology on manual ham-deboning lines in the meat-processing industry. The aim is to study the effects of automation on the work system and layout, analyzing the economic and ergonomic impact of semi-automatic ham deboning lines. The study introduces a non-safety cost model for the comparative and sensitive analysis of manual and semiautomatic ham deboning systems, including the cost of non-safety. The model is tested with a case study from an Italian ham processing company. The reference manual ham-deboning line is introduced, together with a new layout proposal involving the adoption of a semi-automatic ham-deboning machine. Results reveal the positive impact of the semi-automatic ham-deboning system on the company's profitability and workers' ergonomics. As a consequence, automated technology leads to economic and ergonomic benefits for workers, employers and customers.


2015 - Unit-load storage assignment strategy for warehouses in seismic areas [Articolo su rivista]
Bortolini, M.; Botti, L.; Cascini, A.; Gamberi, M.; Mora, C.; Pilati, F.
abstract

Abstract The reports from the strong earthquakes that hit seismic regions, as Italy, frequently show the damages occurring to the storage systems and the collapse of their racks, with devastating social and economic consequences. The loads stored in such systems represent the most of their weight, so that the overall structure stability is expected to highly depend on the chosen storage assignment policy. Conventional approaches relate the load assignment to the storage/retrieval (S/R) travel time, affecting the handling costs, neglecting any further issue. This paper faces the so-called unit-load assignment problem (ULAP) for industrial warehouses located in seismic areas presenting an innovative integer linear programming (ILP) model. The model includes both the S/R travel time and an innovative stability condition for the rack collapse prevention during seismic events. A case study, based on a multi-scenario analysis, is discussed to show the benefits coming from the application of the proposed strategy and to assess the impact of the stability issues on the average single-command travel time. The key results outline the effectiveness of the proposed strategy revealing that significant improvements in the structure stability are achievable with little decrease of the S/R efficiency.


2014 - A bi-objective optimization model for work activity scheduling of workers exposed to ergonomic risk [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Botti, L.; Gamberi, M.; Manzini, R.; Mora, C.; Regattieri, A.
abstract

Repetitive work as handling of low loads at high frequency commonly leads to deteriorated posture and movement co-ordination. Such behaviors are the main cause of occupational diseases as the so-called musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The appearance of such occupational diseases exposes the workers to hazardous situations, furthermore, work-related MSDs increase the risk of errors and frequently result in reduced productivity and quality. The features of the task, the characteristics and expertise of the workers and the work organization are the main risk factors in repetitive work. Additional factors include the work conditions as noise, illumination, climate and vibration. The legislation in force suggests avoiding hazardous manual handling tasks wherever possible. When repetitive handling is unavoidable, the corrective procedure includes the ergonomic design of the tools and workplace dimensions, as well as the systematic variation of activities to equalize the load situation. This paper presents an integer linear programming model to seek the optimal activity scheduling for workers exposed to the ergonomic risk of repetitive work. The aim is to define the scheduling of the work activities for each worker from a bi-objective perspective. Two different functions are introduced: the first charges the workers with the activities that better fit their competencies and characteristics, while the latter tackles the ergonomic risk of the repetitive activities by varying the intensity of movements throughout the shift. Finally, the proposed model includes the ergonomic risk assessment to ensure the ergonomic safety of each worker. A case study, based on a bi-objective analysis, is discussed to show the benefits coming from the application of the proposed model and to evaluate the impact of the ergonomic issues on the overall efficiency of the work system. The key results outline the effectiveness of the proposed method revealing that the ergonomic based approach leads to minimal decreasing in the overall efficiency of the work system. Furthermore, the proposed model is applicable to several contexts where workers are asked to perform repetitive tasks with low loads at high frequency.


2014 - Multi-objective assignment strategy for warehouses served by automatic storage and retrieval system [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bortolini, M.; Botti, L.; Cascini, A.; Gamberi, M.; Mora, C.
abstract

Storage assignment strategies play a crucial role to increase the warehouse efficiency and to reduce the inbound logistic costs. This paper presents a linear programming model to optimise the load assignment within an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) adopting a multi-objective perspective. Three different issues are considered: The time efficiency for the S/R operations; the overall energy consumption for the S/R activities; and the risk of the rack overturn and collapse during dangers like seismic events. The model is applied to a realistic case study to demonstrate its effectiveness and strengths. Copyright © FSB, Zagreb, Croatia, 2014.


2013 - Life cycle assessment of a commercial refrigeration system under different use configurations [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Cascini, A.; Bortolini, M.; Botti, L.; Gamberi, M.; Graziani, A.; Mora, C.
abstract

Purpose The design of refrigeration systems must comply with the rules determined by the increasingly stringent international guidelines on the use of refrigerants. Nevertheless, the use of fluorinated gases with low Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the eco-design of a refrigeration system. Indeed, regardless of the restrictions imposed, the compliance to the best practices of eco-design may be considered as a competitive lever in the contemporary market, which is more and more characterized by the sensitivity to the sustainability issue. In this paper the environmental impact associated with the life cycle of a commercial refrigerator system is investigated. The environmental burden caused by the adoption of alternative refrigerants and different use configurations is evaluated and discussed. Methodology/Approach In this study, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the methodology through which the environmental burden introduced by the couple refrigerator-refrigerant is estimated. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) step is conducted through the evaluation of the Carbon Footprint associated with each phase of the life cycle of both refrigerant blend and refrigerator. LCIA results are used as Key Performance Indices (KPI) in the final evaluation of the most sustainable solution. Originality/Value This article shows an extended application of the LCA as a useful tool in the design of a complex product: ecodesign principles are applied in order to identify the best device configuration. Furthermore, one of the main hotspot of this research is represented by the analysed device. Indeed, although the environmental impact of refrigerants is widely investigated, the analysis of the life cycle of a refrigeration system is, as the literature demonstrates, a topic not sufficiently discussed.