Experimental field testing of a real-time construction hazard identification and transmission techniqueby Alex Albert, Matthew R. Hallowell, Brian M. Kleiner

Construction Management and Economics

About

Text

This article was downloaded by: [Heriot-Watt University]

On: 31 December 2014, At: 17:05

Publisher: Routledge

Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Click for updates

Construction Management and Economics

Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rcme20

Experimental field testing of a real-time construction hazard identification and transmission technique

Alex Alberta, Matthew R. Hallowella & Brian M. Kleinerb a Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1111 Engineering Dr, ECOT 441, Boulder, CO, 80302, USA b Center for Innovation in Construction Safety and Health, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA,

USA

Published online: 12 Aug 2014.

To cite this article: Alex Albert, Matthew R. Hallowell & Brian M. Kleiner (2014) Experimental field testing of a real-time construction hazard identification and transmission technique, Construction Management and Economics, 32:10, 1000-1016,

DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2014.929721

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01446193.2014.929721

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the

Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.

This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http:// www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

Experimental field testing of a real-time construction hazard identification and transmission technique

ALEX ALBERT1*, MATTHEW R. HALLOWELL1 and BRIAN M. KLEINER2 1Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1111 Engineering Dr,

ECOT 441, Boulder, CO, 80302, USA 2Center for Innovation in Construction Safety and Health, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Received 26 September 2013; accepted 27 May 2014

Hazard identification and communication are integral to most construction methods, and every construction safety management activity. Unfortunately, in practice, significant hazards are often not recognized and communicated leading to sub-optimal hazard awareness at the crew level. To bridge this gap in performance, we conducted a two-year intensive research project focused on developing a strategy that increases the proportion of hazards identified, communicated, and managed. Specifically, we designed a hazard identification and transmission (HIT) board that is used in conjunction with energy-based retrieval mnemonics and facilitates identifying and communicating hazards during both the planning and the execution phases. The strength of this strategy lies in the fact that workers are able to detect and communicate hazards in real time using energy-source mnemonic cues, which significantly reduces cognitive demand. Following development, we conducted immersive field studies to evaluate the impact of the devised strategy on two projects in the United States. Data from six crews were gathered using the rigorous multiple baseline testing experimental approach and analysis was conducted using interrupted time-series regression models. The results indicate that the crews were able to recognize and communicate only an average of 54% of hazards in the baseline phase, but were able to recognize and communicate 77% during the planning phase after using the intervention. An additional 6% of hazards were identified and communicated in the execution phase. This represents the first known formal effort to evaluate a real-time hazard identification and communication strategy for the construction industry.

Keywords: Communication, hazard identification, hazard recognition, health and safety, safety.

Introduction

Because of the dynamic and dangerous nature of construction projects, workers are exposed to a wide array of safety hazards and risks, which results in unacceptable injury and fatality rates (Mitropoulos and Cupido, 2009). Worldwide, the construction industry has consistently accounted for a disproportionate injury rate (International Labour Organization, 2013). In the United States, for example, construction activities were responsible for 755 fatal injuries in 2012, a 5% increase from 2011 rates (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013).

Such high injury rates partly occur due to construction workers’ inability to recognize and respond to hazards in rapidly changing and sometimes unpredictable environments (Goh and Chua, 2009). In fact, several other studies also reveal that designers, planners and managers are unable to predict and recognize significant hazards (Fleming, 2009).

To describe the relationship between hazard recognition and injury occurrence, we offer Figure 1, a simple conceptual model of the safety management process centred on hazard recognition and communication. As indicated by the model, there is a possibility of injury when a hazardous situation exists and workers are exposed to the hazard in the absence of adequate safety controls. Exposure to safety hazards is often triggered by poor worker behaviour (Abdelhamid and Everett, 2000). As shown, typical safety management in commercial, industrial and heavy construction involves the identification, communication and assessment of safety risk, and the *Author for correspondence. E-mail: alex.albert@colorado.edu © 2014 Taylor & Francis