Construction workers’ awareness of safety information depending on physical and mental load

Siyeon Kim, Heerim Lee, Sungjoo Hwang, June Seong Yi, Jeong Wook Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations. The most prominent reason for worker accidents is unsafe behavior, particularly rooted in the inability to recognize and appropriately respond to risk factors. Previous studies have investigated worker perception and comprehension of construction hazards and safety information in laboratory settings. A relationship has been found between workload and workers’ situation awareness (SA), a useful concept for understanding risk perception and comprehension. However, it is necessary to investigate the actual construction environment to increase the real-world applicability of the research results. This experimental study analyzed workers’ SA in relation to physical and mental workloads acquired while performing work at a construction site. Perception (Level-1-SA) and comprehension (Level-2-SA) were measured using the SA Global Assessment Technique as subjects walked inside a facility under construction and performed inspection or construction works. Statistically significant differences were found between perception and comprehension of safety-related information. It was also found that mental load negatively affected SA. This study provided external validation of previously investigated effects of workload on workers’ perception and comprehension of safety-related elements at real construction sites. The study’s findings can improve the understanding of workers’ safety behaviors and help suggest directions for safety management guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1077
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Institute of Korea and Architectural Society of China.


  • Construction workers
  • risk perception and comprehension
  • safety management
  • situation awareness
  • workload


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