4-dimensional process-aware site-specific construction safety planning
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The construction industry has one of the worst occupational health and safety records of all industries. In spite of stringent regulations and much attention towards reducing risks in the physical environment, the construction industry continues to be associated with high levels of accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Construction safety management activities are typically categorized into safety planning and execution processes. Despite the interdependent relationship between safety planning and execution processes, current safety planning processes lack a systematic approach because of limited safety tools and site-specific information available. As a result, safety planning and execution processes are generally segregated and, consequently, most safety execution processes rely on ad-hoc safety activities during construction. The objective of this research is to systematically formalize the construction safety planning process in a 4-dimensional (4D) environment to address site-specific temporal and spatial safety information, by leveraging project schedules and information technology to improve current construction safety management practices. Prior to developing a specific framework, this research presents a safety risk generation and control model to describe the phenomenon of dynamic safety risk, incorporating construction domain knowledge. The proposed model addresses how the inherent risk of a worker can be transformed by different measurable contexts of activities. Based on the theoretical model, this research assessed safety risk of different construction trades in a quantitative manner. By integrating multiple national injury databases, safety risks of different construction occupations were analyzed to explain common risk types, sources of injury, and risk scenarios associated with each occupation type. With results of safety risk analysis as a reference, a formalized safety planning framework to aid in developing a long-term safety risk prediction plan was proposed. The proposed framework analyzed activity, work period, and work zone safety by integrating a project schedule and a 3D model. The proposed safety planning process was tested in a real-world project. This research advances safety knowledge, integrating site-specific temporal and spatial information, and significantly affecting the construction safety planning process. The proposed safety planning approach can provide safety personnel with a site-specific proactive safety planning tool that can be used to better manage jobsite safety by predicting activity risk, work period risk, and work zone risk in advance. In addition, visual safety materials can also aid in training workers on safety and, consequently, being able to identify site-specific hazards and respond to them effectively.