Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The construction industry has long been known for its high injury and fatality rate. To combat this, researchers and practitioners have strived to develop new safety management methods to reduce construction safety risks. One of these methods is known as Construction Hazard Prevention through Design (CHPtD). CHPtD theory is founded in recognizing construction safety hazards during the design phase of a project so they may be removed with design solutions. Although this theory has seen substantial research and promotion as an effective safety management practice, the efficacy of the theory remains untested. To test the viability of recognizing safety hazards in design, a series of simulated design for safety reviews with civil engineering students, construction and engineering designers, and construction supervisors were conducted across the United States to explore the effects that different formats of design information had on hazard recognition. Over the course of one year and a half, 117 participants were provided one of three information formats including: two-dimensional (2D) computer aided design (CAD) drawings, three-dimensional (3D) computerized visualizations, and a combination of the two (2D & 3D) through a Latin square experimental design. Participants were asked to explore the design information and identify as many safety hazards as they could for three separate construction work activities. The primary metrics tested include: hazard recognition performance, spatial cognition, and mental workload. This dissertation’s primary contributions include the development of an empirical research agenda and an examination of the effects of design information on hazard recognition performance. The results suggest that the format of design information has no effect on hazard recognition performance. Additionally, it was found that mental workload and participants spatial cognition were not related to hazard recognition performance. However, it was found that experience is a key player in predicting hazards during design. These findings suggest that approximately one-half of safety hazards present in the construction phase of a project are identifiable during design. Additionally, the results confirm the necessity for experienced construction professionals’ involvement in the CHPtD process to ensure that hazards are recognized, and may therefore be controlled.
Hardison, Dylan Clee, "Hazard Recognition in Design: Evaluating the Effects of Design Information on Hazard Recognition Performance" (2018). Civil Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 373.