Hazard Recognition Patterns Demonstrated by Construction Workers


Construction workers fail to recognize a large number of safety hazards. These unrecognized safety hazards can lead to unintended hazard exposure and tragic safety incidents. Unfortunately, traditional hazard recognition interventions (e.g., job hazard analyses and safety training) have been unable to tackle the industry-wide problem of poor hazard recognition levels. In fact, emerging evidence has demonstrated that traditional hazard recognition interventions have been designed without a proper understanding of the challenges workers experience during hazard recognition efforts. Interventions and industry-wide efforts designed based on a more thorough understanding of these challenges can yield substantial benefits-including superior hazard recognition levels and lower injury rates. Towards achieving this goal, the current investigation focused on identifying hazard categories that workers are more proficient in recognizing and others that they are less proficient in recognizing (i.e., hazard recognition patterns). For the purpose of the current study, hazards were classified on the basis of the energy source per Haddon's energy release theory (e.g., gravity, motion, electrical, chemical, etc.). As part of the study, 287 workers representing 57 construction workplaces in the United States were engaged in a hazard recognition activity. Apart from confirming previous research findings that workers fail to recognize a disproportionate number of safety hazards, the results demonstrate that the workers are more proficient in recognizing certain hazard types. More specifically, the workers on average recognized roughly 47% of the safety hazards in the gravity, electrical, motion, and temperature hazard categories while only recognizing less than 10% of the hazards in the pressure, chemical, and radiation hazard categories. These findings can inform the development of more robust interventions and industry-wide initiatives to tackle the issue of poor hazard recognition levels in the construction industry.

construction safety, hazard recognition, occupational safety, worker safety, hazard recognition pattern, construction hazards, safety risks, SAFETY, HEALTH, IDENTIFICATION, IMPACT, Environmental Sciences, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Uddin, S. M. J., Albert, A., Alsharef, A., Pandit, B., Patil, Y., & Nnaji, C. (2020). Hazard Recognition Patterns Demonstrated by Construction Workers. In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Vol. 17, Issue 21, p. 7788). MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217788