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  1. Roofers spend considerable time in awkward postures due to steep-slope rooftops. The combination of these postures, the forces acting on them, and the time spent in such postures increases the chance of roofers developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Several studies have connected these awkward postures to potential risk factors for injuries and disorders; however, existing models are not appropriate in roof workplaces because they are designed to assess work-related risk factors for general tasks. This study examines the impacts of work-related factors, namely working posture and roof slope, on kinematics measurements of body segments in a laboratory setting. To achieve this objective, time-stamped motion data from inertial measurement unit (IMU) devices (i.e., accelerometer, gyroscope, and quaternion signals) were collected from a sample of six undergraduate students at George Mason University. Participants performed two common roofing activities, namely walking along the roof and squatting in different roof slopes (0°, 30°). Comparing IMU signals using statistical analysis demonstrated significant differences in body kinematics between roofing activities on the slope and level ground. Overall, sloped-surface activities on a 30° roof resulted in changes in about 26% of walking and 12% of squatting variables. Such information is useful for a logical understanding of roofing MSDmore »development and may lead to better interventions and guidelines for reducing roofing injuries.« less
  2. The construction industry still leads the world as one of the sectors with the most work-related injuries and worker fatalities. Considering that one of the barriers to improving construction safety is its stressful working environment, which increases risk of inattentiveness among construction workers, safety managers seek practices to measure and enhance worker focus and reduce stress, such as mindfulness. Considering the important role of mindfulness in curbing frequency and severity of incidents, researchers are interested in understanding the relationship between mindfulness and other common, more static human characteristics. As a result, this study examines the relationship between mindfulness and such variables as personality and national culture in the context of construction safety. Collecting data from 155 participants, this study used elastic net regression to examine the influence of independent (i.e., personality and national culture) variables on the dependent (i.e., mindfulness) variable. To validate the results of the regression, 10-fold cross-validation was conducted. The results reveal that certain personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness) and national cultural dimensions (e.g., uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and collectivism) can be used as predictors of mindfulness for individuals. Since mindfulness has shown to increase safety and work performance, safety managers can utilize these variables tomore »identify at-risk workers so that additional safety training can be provided to enhance work performance and improve safety outcomes. The results of this study will inform future work into translating personal and mindfulness characteristics into factors that predict specific elements of unsafe human behaviors.« less
  3. One of the main contributors to the human errors that lead to catastrophic injuries in the construction workplace is the failure to identify hazards as a result of poor attention or cognitive lapses. To address this safety concern, the present study used eye-tracking technology to assess how the association between work experience and hazard identification may be mediated due to inattention. A mediation analysis was conducted and tested using a bias-corrected bootstrapping technique with 5000 resamples. The results estimate the direct and indirect effects of work experience on the hazard identification skills of construction workers observing varying hazardous conditions. The results of the mediation analysis confirm that inattention—demonstrated via inattentiveness toward hazards—mediates the relationship between work experience and hazard identification. Specifically, though work experience and dwell time positively correlate with hazard identification, the direct effect of work experience on hazard identification is attenuated with the inclusion of the mediator variables in the model, thus suggesting attentional impairment offsets the benefits of work experience. The outcomes of this study will enable researchers and safety practitioners to harness real-time eye-movement patterns to identify the precursors of cognitive failure, deficient attentional allocation, and poor visual search strategies, all of which may put workersmore »at risk on construction sites. The results also facilitate the provision of personalized safety feedback to workers and the design of training interventions that will address unique performance deficiencies in workers to prevent the human errors that cause injuries in dynamic environments.« less
  4. Cognitive processes have been found to contribute substantially to the human errors that lead to construction accidents. Working memory—a cognitive system with a limited capacity that is responsible for temporarily holding information available for processing—plays an important role in reasoning and decision-making. Since eye movements indicate where a worker directs his/her attention, tracking such movements provides a practical way to measure workers’ attention and comprehension of construction hazards. As a departure in construction industry research, this study correlates attentional allocation with working memory to assess workers’ situation awareness under different scenarios that expose workers to various hazards. To achieve this goal, this study merges research linking eye movements and workers’ attention with research focused on working-memory load and decision making and evaluates what, how, and where a worker distributes his/her attention while performing a task under different working-memory loads. Path analysis models then examined the direct and indirect effect of different working-memory loads on hazard identification performance. The independent variable (working-memory load) is linked to the dependent variable (hazard identification) through the set of mediators (attention metrics). The results showed that the high-memory load condition delayed workers’ hazard identification. The findings of this study emphasize the important role working memorymore »plays in determining how and why workers in dynamic work environments fail to detect, comprehend, and/or respond to physical risks.« less
  5. The construction industry still leads the world as one of the sectors with the most work-related injuries and worker fatalities. Recent studies show that both a state of mindfulness and various personality traits contribute to individuals’ safety and work performance. This study examines the relationship between mindfulness and personality by measuring the mindfulness state of individuals against their personality traits. To achieve this objective, data were collected from a sample of 55 undergraduate students at George Mason University. Scores from the Big Five Inventory were ranked by each traits’ score (independent variable) and split into three groups: high, moderate, and low scores. The corresponding mindfulness scores (dependent variable) were analyzed to determine the relationship between high/low personality traits and mindfulness. Comparing the high/low groups using statistical analyses showed that three of the five personality traits—conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism—significantly correlate with higher mindfulness scores of individuals. As mindfulness has been shown to increase individual safety and work performance and to reduce stress, the results of this study help inform future work into translating personality and mindfulness characteristics into factors that predict specific elements of unsafe human behaviors.
  6. The construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries worldwide, and contact with electricity is a major cause of injury and death among construction workers. It is well known that unsafe acts resulting from human error are the primary cause for up to 80% of accidents across various industries, and some studies show that human performance tools may be functional in mitigating these incidents. Accordingly, this paper provides empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of human performance tools as used to curb the frequency, probability, and severity of accidents. To achieve its objectives, this study first executed an extensive literature review to identify best practices related to human factors in mitigating the risk of electrical incidents. Then, the authors distributed an online questionnaire among various safety managers to determine the effectiveness of each practice in reducing the frequency, probability and severity of these incidents. The results and analysis show which human performance tools are recognized as most effective in helping safety managers mitigate human errors in electrical jobsites. The results of this study and paper will accelerate and transform current injury-prevention practices as well as overcome some of the barriers in the electrical workplace. An easy-to-use and effective set ofmore »human performance best practice solutions will be provided based on standards and industry experience.« less