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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 81
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper 31

A Fault Tree Analysis for Assessing Construction Safety based on Environmental Psychology

N.S. Al-Kaabi and F.C. Hadipriono

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
N.S. Al-Kaabi, F.C. Hadipriono, "A Fault Tree Analysis for Assessing Construction Safety based on Environmental Psychology", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 31, 2005. doi:10.4203/ccp.81.31
Keywords: environmental psychology, construction safety, affordances, relationship, surroundings, construction workers.

The environment in general determines human behaviour. It provides meaning to the various actions human take and to the different objects surrounding them. The environment also helps us to interpret what is happening and whether our surroundings pose a threat to our property or to our life [1]. In a construction environment, workers surroundings are constantly changing as the construction project progresses towards completion. These changes are usually full of new information that the workers have to use to make decisions essential to ensure their safety.

Environmental psychology deals with the environment at two different levels. The first level treats the environment as the framework of human behaviour and the second level evaluates the effects of human behaviour on the environment itself. In the first level of environmental psychology, human behaviours are meaningful only if these behaviours can be understood in terms of their context.

The first level of environmental psychology directs us to question the construction environment and if the constantly changing constructions environment affects workers behaviour. When such effects exist, they are explored to determine what their implications are on the safety conduct of workers on site.

This paper analyzes the different approaches of predicting human behavior in relation to the environment surrounding them. This paper also relates environmental psychology with construction safety to develop a model, which could be used to create a safe construction site.

Paramount to the success of developing such a model is the use of a fault tree analysis, in which the authors predetermined the top "undesired events", that was expanded to accommodate all possible basic events, contributing to the top event. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were employed; probability values were assigned and the minimal cut sets were produced. The latter determines sets of events in the fault tree having the most potential in contributing the occurrence of the top event. A computer program was created to process the probability values of the basic events and to obtain the probability of the top event.

The model the authors developed can be used as an effective tools applied to construction sites to create an environment that affords and promotes safety for those working in this environment.

Colledge, R.G., Behaviour and Environment: Psychological and Geographical Approaches, Amsterdam; New York: North-Holland, 1993.

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