A fuzzy-based model to implement the global safety buildings index assessment for agri-food buildings

  • Francesco Barreca | fbarreca@unirc.it Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli studi Mediterranea, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Cardinali Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli studi Mediterranea, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Carmelo Riccardo Fichera Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli studi Mediterranea, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Luigi Lamberto Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli studi Mediterranea, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Modica Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli studi Mediterranea, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Abstract

The latest EU policies focus on the issue of food safety with a view to ensuring adequate and standard quality levels for the food produced and/or consumed within the EC. To that purpose, the environment where agricultural products are manufactured and processed plays a crucial role in achieving food hygiene. As a consequence, it is of the outmost importance to adopt proper building solutions which meet health and hygiene requirements as well as to use suitable tools to measure the levels achieved. Similarly, it is necessary to verify and evaluate the level of workers’ safety and welfare in their working environment. Workers’ safety has not only an ethical and social value but also an economic implication, since possible accidents or environmental stressors are the major causes of the lower efficiency and productivity of workers. Therefore, it is fundamental to design suitable models of analysis that allow assessing buildings as a whole, taking into account both health and hygiene safety as well as workers’ safety and welfare. Hence, this paper proposes an assessment model that, based on an established study protocol and on the application of a fuzzy logic procedure, allows assessing the global safety level of an agri-food building by means of a global safety buildings index. The model here presented is original since it uses fuzzy logic to evaluate the performances of both the technical and environmental systems of an agri-food building in terms of health and hygiene safety of the manufacturing process as well as of workers’ health and safety. The result of the assessment is expressed through a triangular fuzzy membership function which allows carrying out comparative analyses of different buildings. A specific procedure was developed to apply the model to a case study which tested its operational simplicity and the validity of its results. The proposed model allows obtaining a synthetic and global value of the building performance of each of its functional areas, in terms of food hygiene and workers’ safety and welfare, as well as highlighting possible weaknesses. Though the model may be applied in either the design or the operational phase of a building, this paper focuses on its application to certain buildings already operating in a specific productive context.

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Published
2014-06-20
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
agri-food buildings design, fuzzy set, global safety buildings index, inferential fuzzy rules, safety performance assessment.
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How to Cite
Barreca, F., Cardinali, G., Fichera, C. R., Lamberto, L., & Modica, G. (2014). A fuzzy-based model to implement the global safety buildings index assessment for agri-food buildings. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 45(1), 24-31. https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2014.227