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Defining and testing a safety cognition framework incorporating safety hazard perception

: Han, Yu; Yin, Zhenzhen; Liu, Jialun; Jin, Ruoyu; Gidado, Kassim; Painting, Noel; Yang, Yang; Yan, Libo


Journal of construction engineering and management 145 (2019), No.12, Art. 04019081, 14 pp.
ISSN: 0733-9364
ISSN: 1943-7862
Journal Article
Fraunhofer WKI ()
safety cognition; safety hazards; safety perception; construction safety; safety climate

There has been insufficient research focusing on checking the reliability of construction employees’ hazard perceptions by comparing them with empirical safety data. There have also been limited studies focusing on how site employees’ perceptions could be affected by multiple external and internal factors such as workers’ experience levels. This study firstly developed a theoretical safety cognition framework addressing site employees’ perceptions toward hazards. Empirical data from construction safety reports in China were collected to quantify and define eight common safety hazard or accident scenarios. Following the empirical data analysis, these eight hazards were ranked in terms of their occurrence, severity, and controllability. Based on the results of questionnaires received in China’s construction industry, site employees’ perceptions toward these eight hazards were analyzed, ranked, and compared with the empirical ranking. Major findings included but were not limited to: (1) hazards with higher occurrences tended to be perceived with less deviation; (2) more experienced employees were more likely to apply prior scenarios and safety knowledge to perceiving given hazards and to have more reliable perceptions; and (3) prior scenarios might also create biased perceptions in the case of electrocution. The current study contributed to the knowledge in safety climate by proposing and testing the framework incorporating safety perceptions. Further research could be performed to explore more subgroup factors’ effects on workers’ perceptions, as well as how to design an effective safety training program to correct their biased perceptions.