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Industrial Engineering’s Joel Haight Discusses Workplace Automation at Health and Safety Conference

Joel HaightPITTSBURGH (April 4, 2018) … Joel M. Haight, associate professor of industrial engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering and director of the Safety Engineering Program, delivered the opening keynote at the National Health & Safety Leaders’ Summit during the Safety 360 conference on March 27 – 28 in Auckland, New Zealand.

His speech titled “Safety in the digital era – can you have the best of both worlds?” examined living and working with rapid technological advancement, particularly the necessity for human workers to prepare for interacting more and more with machines and the dangers of abandoning human oversight in the workplace for complete automation.

“We cannot just remove the human in the name of effectiveness, efficiency, or safety,” said Dr. Haight during the keynote. “The human role has to change and our human operators must adapt. Overall system performance will be better if there is effective human-machine integration.”

The Safety 360 conference focuses on best practices for health and safety professionals across all sectors and industries with legislative updates, case studies, interactive panel discussions, and inspirational stories. Its four summits explore topics in health and safety leadership, hazardous substance management, health and wellbeing, and occupational health.

About Dr. Haight
Joel M. Haight joined the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. In the previous 33 years he served four years as Chief of the Human Factors Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at their Pittsburgh Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, where he managed a research branch of 35-40 researchers in the areas of ergonomics, cognitive engineering, human behavior, and training. Dr. Haight also served for nearly 10 years, as an Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Haight worked as a manager and engineer for the Chevron Corporation for 18 years prior to joining the faculty at Penn State. His research interests include health and safety management systems intervention effectiveness measurement and optimization and human performance measurement in automated control system design.

He is the editor in chief and contributing author of Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering published by J.W. Wiley and Sons in 2013 and the Safety Professionals Handbook published by the American Society of Safety Engineers in 2012. In addition, he has published nearly 60 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings.  

Dr. Haight is an active member of ASSE, HFES, IISE, and AIHA. From 2011 until 2017, he served as the chair of the research committee for the American Society of Safety Engineers foundation and Board of Trustees member. He is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Alabama and certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the American Board of Industrial Hygienists.


Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Contact: Paul Kovach