Monitoring Inattention in Construction Workers Caused by Physical Fatigue Using Electrocardiograph (ECG) and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) Sensors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Ming Liu
  • Cheng Cheng
  • Yuchen Yang
  • Shiyi He
  • Lan Zheng


Original languageEnglish
Article number7405
Journal / PublicationSensors
Issue number17
Online published25 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023



Physical fatigue is frequent for heavy manual laborers like construction workers, but it causes distraction and may lead to safety incidents. The purpose of this study is to develop predictive models for monitoring construction workers’ inattention caused by physical fatigue utilizing electrocardiograph (ECG) and galvanic skin response (GSR) sensors. Thirty participants were invited to complete an attention-demanding task under non-fatigued and physically fatigued conditions. Supervised learning algorithms were utilized to develop models predicting their attentional states, with heart rate variability (HRV) features derived from ECG signals and skin electric activity features derived from GSR signals as data inputs. The results demonstrate that using HRV features alone could obtain a prediction accuracy of 88.33%, and using GSR features alone could achieve an accuracy of 76.67%, both through the KNN algorithm. The accuracy increased to 96.67% through the SVM algorithm when combining HRV and GSR features. The findings indicate that ECG sensors used alone or in combination with GSR sensors can be applied to monitor construction workers’ inattention on job sites. The findings would provide an approach for detecting distracted workers at job sites. Additionally, it might reveal the relationships between workers’ physiological features and attention. © 2023 by the authors.

Research Area(s)

  • ECG, GSR, HRV, inattention, physical fatigue

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