Differences between inexperienced and experienced safety supervisors in identifying construction hazards : Seeking insights for training the inexperienced

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

13 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Original languageEnglish
Article number101602
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Online published8 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


The hazard identification ability of frontline safety supervisors is essential to ensure site safety. As experience can benefit the identification performance, this study investigates the gaps between inexperienced and experienced safety supervisors. Thirty-five experienced safety supervisors and 35 novices were invited to identify hazards in 18 virtual construction sites created by 360-degree panoramas. Their identification results, attention allocation, and adopted scanpaths during the identification process were compared. It is found that the experienced significantly spent more fixation time, had more fixations, and gave a larger proportion of attention to hazardous areas. In contrast, the inexperienced had no idea about where might exist hazards in a scenario. They missed hazards due to ignoring the hazardous areas. Besides, it was hard for the inexperienced to recognize hazards requiring in-depth knowledge of safety regulations. They significantly identified fewer hazards except for the relatively obvious hazards: improper use of PPE and struck-by hazards. The scanpaths were more consistent among the experienced. They observed the scene sequentially, without consciously adopting any specific searching patterns from which the novices could learn. Therefore, it is suggested to train the inexperienced to be aware of hazardous areas in workplaces in addition to educating them on safety norms; and provide them chances to practice hazard identification to retain their learned knowledge. The findings reveal the gaps between inexperienced and experienced safety supervisors, providing insights for training the inexperienced and thus helping ensure the job site safety.

Research Area(s)

  • Construction hazard identification, Experience, Eye-tracking, panoramic VR, Safety supervisors

Citation Format(s)