Determining the Role of Attentional Control among Construction Workers in Improving Safety Performance

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

Construction Research Congress

Conference Location

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Source of Publication

Proceedings of the 2016 Construction Research Congress, CRC 2016


American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Publication Date


Inclusive pages



Human error is the most dominant factor in approximately 70 to 80% of safety-related accidents in the construction industry. The inability to exert attentional control has proven to be a contributing factor in many injuries, such as falls, slips, and trips in field construction activities. The sources of attention in the human brain can be categorized into three networks: alertness, orientation, and executive control. This paper focuses on an investigation of specific links between the three attentional networks and safety-related risks among construction workers. Subsequently, this paper aims to test the hypothesis that construction workers with high attentional control are able to recognize and perceive more safety hazards than those with lower attentional control. To address it, work experience and knowledge on safety information of participants is evaluated using a questionnaire. Then, the attention network test (ANT) is conducted to assess the efficiency of the three attention networks of participants. Finally, an experiment using photos of potential hazards in the workplace is performed to evaluate the ability of participants to recognize and perceive safety hazards followed by a statistical analysis. The paper makes recommendation based on the conducted experiment as well as statistical result.


Occupational risks, Accident prevention, Construction industry, Hazards, Safety factor, Construction activities, Construction safety, Construction workers, Contributing factor, Network test, Safety information, Safety performance, Attention network test, Attentional control, Construction safety hazards, Source of attention


Construction Engineering and Management | Manufacturing

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