Effect of Safety and Environmental Variables on Task Durations in Steel Erection

In spite of the efforts by government agencies, labor organizations, and researchers in the field of health and safety, injuries and fatalities continue to affect the construction industry. In 2002 the construction industry had the undesirable distinction of having two of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with fatalities among structural steel workers at 58.2 per 100,000 workers (fourth highest rate) and among construction laborers at 27.7 per 100,000 workers (ninth highest rate). Costs associated with construction accidents, such as increased insurance premiums and medical expenses, and loss of productivity are also concerns in the industry. It has not been demonstrated how unsafe working conditions affect worker performance, and the impact of unsafe work practices on worker performance has not been quantified. This paper describes a methodology that included direct observation of steel erection activities and statistical analysis of task duration data. The data collected at steel erection sites included safety conditions such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), elevation of the work area, environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and worker performance in the form of task durations. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) analysis of 186 of steel erection task durations collected over a six-month period showed that the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), the time of day during which the operation was being performed, the elevation at which the work was being performed, and the presence of decking below the work area had statistically significant effects on the durations of steel erection tasks.

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  • Authors:
    • Irizarry, Javier
    • Simonsen, Katy L
    • Abraham, Dulcy M
  • Publication Date: 2005-12


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01013453
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 22 2005 10:30AM