Key Takeaways
  • Construction leads all industries in total worker fatal injuries in the U.S. Unsafe human behavior is considered a significant contributing factor to occupational incidents in construction.

  • Technologies enable various innovative applications to enhance construction safety in a smart manner. Human-in-the-loop cyber-physical systems (HiLCPS), which are integrated and automated systems, are introduced to construction to improve situational awareness and proactively prevent incidents.

  • Struck-by-equipment hazard is one of the leading causes of fatal injuries. This article presents a preliminary implementation of a prototype of HiLCPS for struck-by-equipment hazard in a controlled environment, aiming to contribute to the development of HiLCPS for real job sites. Full development and implementation of HiLCPS in construction is the continuation of this study.

  • Accordingly, the authors identify three primary challenges associated with HiLCPS implementations:

    1. seamless integration of the three domains of HiLCPS;

    2. understanding and modeling of human behaviors and validation of human behavior-involved systems; and

    3. development of reliable performance evaluation metrics.

Construction is among the most hazardous industries due to its unique nature such as dynamics and complexity (Awolusi, Song & Marks, 2017). According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2017) data, construction had the highest number of fatal work injuries among all investigated industry sectors (e.g., transportation, manufacturing, agriculture) for years 2012 to 2016.

Construction Safety & Risk Factors

Workplace fatalities have a tremendous impact on families, workplaces and communities. To prevent construction site incidents, researchers have made extensive efforts to identify root causes and contributory factors of construction incidents. Several categories of causes/factors of incidents have been obtained and summarized, including unsafe equipment, job site conditions, human factors and originating influences (e.g., construction design, management, safety education and training) (Gibb, Lingard, Behm, et al., 2014). Accordingly, countermeasures can be implemented to control the identified factors to avoid undesirable consequences in construction. Moreover, technologies play an important role in the process of controlling risk factors and offer new ways to keep workers safe in smart construction environments (Cheng & Teizer, 2013).

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