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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

Idris Jeelani, Kevin Han and Alex Albert

Workers and construction professionals are generally not proficient in recognizing and managing safety hazards. Although valuable, traditional training experiences have…

Abstract

Purpose

Workers and construction professionals are generally not proficient in recognizing and managing safety hazards. Although valuable, traditional training experiences have not sufficiently addressed the issue of poor hazard recognition and management in construction. Since hazard recognition and management are cognitive skills that depend on attention, visual examination and decision-making, performance assessment and feedback in an environment that is realistic and representative of actual working conditions are important. The purpose of this paper is to propose a personalized safety training protocol that is delivered using robust, realistic and immersive environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Two types of virtual environments were developed: (1) Stereo-panoramic environments using real construction scenes that were used to evaluate the performance of trainees accurately and (2) A virtual construction site, which was used to deliver various elements of instructional training. A training protocol was then designed that was aimed at improving the hazard recognition and management performance of trainees. It was delivered using the developed virtual environments. The effectiveness of the training protocol was experimentally tested with 53 participants using a before–after study.

Findings

The results present a 39% improvement in hazard recognition and a 44% improvement in hazard management performance.

Originality/value

This study combines the benefits of using a virtual environment for providing instructional training along with realistic environments (stereo-panoramic scenes) for performance assessment and feedback. The training protocol includes several new and innovative training elements that are designed to improve the hazard recognition and hazard management abilities of the trainees. Moreover, the effectiveness of training in improving hazard recognition and hazard management is measured using specific outcome variables.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Sheila Belayutham, Patrick Manu and Abdul-Majeed Mahamadu

Designers have a key role to play in the Prevention through Design (PtD) practices in construction projects. Nonetheless, previous studies indicated that the issue of…

Abstract

Purpose

Designers have a key role to play in the Prevention through Design (PtD) practices in construction projects. Nonetheless, previous studies indicated that the issue of competencies to perform and sustain such practices over time is of a significant concern. This study aims to explore the key attributes of designers' competencies for PtD practices in construction.

Design/methodology/approach

By using the Scopus database, a total of 86 papers related to PtD in construction published in peer-reviewed journals were reviewed and analysed using the well-established systematic literature review (SLR) methodology.

Findings

The review indicates that in order to be competent in PtD implementation, designers need to be equipped with tacit and explicit knowledge, technical and soft skills and experience related to PtD. Furthermore, the review identifies attributes of these competencies. Additionally, a framework that links key PtD elements/principles with the PtD competencies is presented.

Practical implications

The findings would enable contribution to the industry by providing the necessary references for design organisations to improve their designers' PtD competencies and hence, be able to meet their responsibility under relevant occupational safety and health (OSH) legislative framework.

Originality/value

This study extends the PtD literature in the construction context by providing deeper insights into the conceptualisation of relationship between competent designers and PtD elements. The novelty also lies in the consolidation of PtD competency attributes for designers in construction that could act as a reference for any future developments related to PtD competency assessment for designers.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Rahul Srivastava and Lucie Laurian

Natural hazards such as floods, wildfires and droughts disrupt communities, their economies and environments, and cost millions every year. The existing literature on…

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3647

Abstract

Purpose

Natural hazards such as floods, wildfires and droughts disrupt communities, their economies and environments, and cost millions every year. The existing literature on hazard mitigation shows that community resilience is best achieved when mitigation strategies are integrated with land use and comprehensive planning. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of hazard mitigation in local comprehensive plans.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis uses a new plan evaluation protocol that integrates flood, wildfire and drought mitigation to evaluate the plans of the six largest and fastest growing counties in Arizona.

Findings

The study finds that counties do not plan equally well for all hazards, that they tend to plan better for droughts than wildfires and floods, and indicates the need to improve hazard information in plans to support the adoption of mitigation goals, objectives and strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a small sample of comprehensive plans. It focuses on the content of plans rather than the causes that may explain this content or the implementation of the strategies included in the plans. Future research will thus need to analyze larger numbers of plans to identify the determinants of the degree to which comprehensive plans integrate hazard mitigation; and evaluate whether strategies advanced in plans are integrated with other planning documents and implemented.

Practical implications

The paper makes recommendations to improve the plans evaluated and to guide planners as they develop or revise comprehensive plans in other jurisdictions subject to natural hazards.

Originality/value

The key methodological contribution of the paper is the new plan evaluation protocol designed to assess the wildfire, drought and flood mitigation provisions in comprehensive plans.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2021

Emil L. Jacobsen, Alex Solberg, Olga Golovina and Jochen Teizer

Accidents resulting from poorly planned or setup work environments are a major concern within the construction industry. While traditional education and training of…

Abstract

Purpose

Accidents resulting from poorly planned or setup work environments are a major concern within the construction industry. While traditional education and training of personnel offer well-known approaches for establishing safe work practices, serious games in virtual reality (VR) are increasingly being used as a complementary approach for active learning experiences. By taking full advantage of data collection and the interactions possible in the virtual environment, the education and training of construction personnel improves by using non-biased feedback and immersion.

Design/methodology/approach

This research presents a framework for the generation and automated assessment of VR data. The proposed approach is tested and evaluated in a virtual work environment consisting of multiple hazards. VR requires expensive hardware, technical knowledge and user acceptance to run the games effectively. An effort has been made to transfer the advantages VR gives to a physical setup. This is done using a light detection and ranging sensing system, which collects similar data and enables the same learning experiences.

Findings

Encouraging results on the participants’ experiences are presented and discussed based on actual needs in the Danish construction industry. An outlook presents future avenues towards enhancing existing learning methods.

Practical implications

The proposed method will help develop active learning environments, which could lead to safer construction work stations in the future, either through VR or physical simulations.

Originality/value

The utilization of run-time data collection and automatic analysis allows for better personalized feedback in the construction safety training. Furthermore, this study investigates the possibility of transferring the benefits of this system to a physical setup that is easier to use on construction sites without investing in a full VR setup.

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2021

Kishor Bhagwat and Venkata Santosh Kumar Delhi

Construction safety management (CSM) has been intensively researched in the last four decades but hitherto mostly aimed at understanding root causes of accidents…

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67

Abstract

Purpose

Construction safety management (CSM) has been intensively researched in the last four decades but hitherto mostly aimed at understanding root causes of accidents, recommending preventive measures and evaluating their implications. However, a systematic effort to present a comprehensive picture of construction safety research is hardly witnessed. Therefore, the study aims to investigate construction safety research contributors, ontologies, themes, evolution, emerging trends and future directions using quantitative and qualitative content analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 877 journal articles were extracted using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and Scopus literature database and were analyzed using VOSviewer and Nvivo tools to present a comprehensive picture of the CSM body of knowledge.

Findings

The study observed rapid growth in construction safety research with contributions from various countries, organizations and researchers. This study identified 3 research levels, 8 project phases, 10 project types, 6 research instruments and 19 research data sources along with their usage in the research domain. Further, the study identified 13 emerging research themes, 4 emerging research trends and an observed paradigm shift from reactive to proactive CSM approach.

Research limitations/implications

The comprehensive study on the emerging themes and findings on proactive CSM has strategic implications to practice to incorporate safety. The identified future directions can assist researchers in bridging the existing gaps and strengthening emerging research trends.

Originality/value

The study presents a comprehensive picture of the CSM body of knowledge using the content analysis approach that was absent in past literature and opened future research avenues.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Peter Fairbrother

The question of health and safety at work is a central issue for trade unions. In Britain it is an area of concern where there were important legislative initiatives in…

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2495

Abstract

The question of health and safety at work is a central issue for trade unions. In Britain it is an area of concern where there were important legislative initiatives in the 1970s and 1980s, although surprisingly this has received relatively little attention in the debates about trade unionism. This neglect results in an aspect of union activity about which little is known. Explores through a detailed longitudinal study of a middle‐range engineering firm, from the late 1970s into the 1990s, the ways in which trade unions organize and act on health and safety questions. Argues that it is almost “routine” that workers face dangers and hazards at work, a central feature of the work and employment experience of most workers. However, this is often difficult to deal with as individual issues, or as matters which are subject to collective consideration. On the one hand, workers often appear to accept the dangers and hazards they face. On the other hand, managements are preoccupied with questions relating to production and finance, rather than the day‐to‐day problems faced by workers. This tension suggests that the future wellbeing of workers in unionized workplaces lies not so much with legislative provisions and rights at work, but in education and the organizing ability of workplace unions, raising and addressing what often seem like individualistic problems in collective ways.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Heng Li, JoonOh Seo, Shahnawaz Anwer, Sitsofe Kwame Yevu and Zezhou Wu

Construction workers are frequently exposed to safety hazards on sites. Wearable sensing systems (e.g. wearable inertial measurement units (WIMUs), wearable insole…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction workers are frequently exposed to safety hazards on sites. Wearable sensing systems (e.g. wearable inertial measurement units (WIMUs), wearable insole pressure system (WIPS)) have been used to collect workers' gait patterns for distinguishing safety hazards. However, the performance of measuring WIPS-based gait parameters for identifying safety hazards as compared to a reference system (i.e. WIMUs) has not been studied. Therefore, this study examined the validity and reliability of measuring WIPS-based gait parameters as compared to WIMU-based gait parameters for distinguishing safety hazards in construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Five fall-risk events were conducted in a laboratory setting, and the performance of the proposed approach was assessed by calculating the mean difference (MD), mean absolute error (MAE), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), root mean square error (RMSE) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of five gait parameters.

Findings

Comparable results of MD, MAE, MAPE and RMSE were found between WIPS-based gait parameters and the reference system. Furthermore, all measured gait parameters had validity (ICC = 0.751) and test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.910) closer to 1, indicating a good performance of measuring WIPS-based gait parameters for distinguishing safety hazards.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, this study supports the relevance of developing a WIPS as a noninvasive wearable sensing system for identifying safety hazards on construction sites, thus highlighting the usefulness of its applications for construction safety research.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the performance of a wearable insole pressure system for identifying safety hazards in construction.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Mu’awiya Abubakar, Bello Mahmud Zailani, Muhammad Abdullahi and Abubakar Muhammad Auwal

Despite the efforts of organizations to improve safety performance, shortfalls of the strategies have been reported in numerous studies around the globe. However, previous…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the efforts of organizations to improve safety performance, shortfalls of the strategies have been reported in numerous studies around the globe. However, previous studies in countries with more organized construction sectors show that adopting a resilient safety culture by organizations has a tendency of improving safety performance. As safety culture is dynamic which differs with geographical context, the purpose of this paper is to achieve two objectives: testing the causal relationship between safety performance and resilience safety culture in the Nigerian construction environment; and determining the key components for ensuring the resilience of construction organizations with regards to safety.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research approach was used. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire. The population of the study comprises small and medium construction organizations predominantly across the Northern region in the Nigerian built environment. A total of 180 questionnaires were distributed to construction managers and safety managers in respective organizations to serve as respondents to the study. Partial least square – structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the relationship between safety performance and resilience safety culture. While principal component analysis was used determining the key components for ensuring the resilience of construction organizations with regards to safety.

Findings

Findings of this study revealed that resilient safety culture has a significantly strong positive relationship with safety performance. Safety hazard recognition and effective safety response attitude were identified as the key components for guaranteeing a resilient safety culture.

Practical implications

With a view to achieve a consistently high safety performance, organizations have to acknowledge and anticipate unexpected hazardous events and provide the necessary safety resources to manage them. Furthermore, there is also the need to create awareness on recognized safety concerns on safety hazards, coupled with a dynamic risk response attitude to ensure consistent improvement in safety performance.

Originality/value

This study presents an alternative to the slow and reactive safety culture of the Nigerian built environment. This study builds on existing literature, and the findings explore the potential impact of adopting a resilient safety culture in construction organizations in Nigeria. This study provided further insights into key factors organizations need to focus on to ensure resilient nature. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior study in this regard was conducted in Nigeria despite its apparent need.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2021

Karim Farghaly, William Collinge, Mojgan Hadi Mosleh, Patrick Manu and Clara Man Cheung

With the rapid development of digital information and modelling software applications for construction, questions have arisen about their impact on construction safety…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid development of digital information and modelling software applications for construction, questions have arisen about their impact on construction safety. Meanwhile, recognition that designers can help reduce risks involved in construction, operation and maintenance via a prevention through design (PtD) approach (also known as design for safety) highlights the significance of digital technologies and tools to PtD. Thus, this paper aims to provide a systematic review of a wide range of digital technologies for enhancing PtD.

Design/methodology/approach

A five-stage systematic literature review with coding and synthesis of findings is presented. The review covers journal articles published between 2000 and 2020 related to the applications of various digital technologies, such as building information modelling (BIM), 4D, databases, ontologies, serious games, virtual reality and augmented reality, for addressing safety issues during the design phase in construction.

Findings

Analysis of the articles yielded a categorisation of the digital applications for PtD into four main areas: knowledge-based systems; automatic rule checking; hazard visualization; and safety training for designers. The review also highlighted designers’ limited knowledge towards construction safety and the possibility to address this by using gaming environments for educating designers on safety management and using artificial intelligence for predicting hazards and risks during design stage in a BIM environment. Additionally, the review proposes other directions for future research to enhance the use of digital technologies for PtD.

Originality/value

This paper contextualises current digital technology applications for construction health and safety and enables future directions of research in the field to be identified and mapped out.

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Evelyn Teo Ai Lin, George Ofori, Imelda Tjandra and Hanjoon Kim

Despite recognition of its importance to Singapore’s economy, the construction industry is plagued by poor safety and productivity performance. Improvement efforts by the…

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1512

Abstract

Purpose

Despite recognition of its importance to Singapore’s economy, the construction industry is plagued by poor safety and productivity performance. Improvement efforts by the government and industry have yielded little results. The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for developing a productivity and safety monitoring system using Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Design/methodology/approach

The framework, Intelligent Productivity and Safety System (IPASS), takes advantage of mandatory requirements for building plans to be submitted for approval in Singapore in BIM format. IPASS is based on a study comprising interviews and a questionnaire-based survey. It uses BIM to integrate buildable design, prevention and control of hazards, and safety assessment.

Findings

The authors illustrate a development of IPASS capable of generating productivity and safety scores for construction projects by analysing BIM model information.

Research limitations/implications

The paper demonstrates that BIM can be used to monitor productivity and safety as a project progresses, and help to enhance performance under the two parameters.

Practical implications

IPASS enables collaboration among project stakeholders as they can base their work on analysis of productivity and safety performance before projects start, and as they progress. It is suggested that the BIM model submitted to the authorities should be used for the IPASS application.

Originality/value

IPASS has rule-checking, hazards identification and quality checking capabilities. It is able to identify hazards and risks with the rule-checking capabilities. IPASS enables practitioners to check mistakes and the rationality of a design. It helps to mitigate risks as there are built-in safety measures/controls rules to overcome the problems caused by design deficiency, wrong-material-choice, and more.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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