Identifying Safety Hazards Using Collective Bodily Responses of Workers

Hyunsoo Kim, Changbum R. Ahn, Kanghyeok Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Current construction hazard identification mostly relies on safety managers' ability to identify hazards using their prior knowledge about them. Consequently, numerous latent hazards remain unidentified, which poses significant risks to construction workers. To advance current hazard identification capabilities, this study examines the feasibility of harnessing and analyzing collective patterns of workers' bodily responses (balance, gait, etc.) to identify safety hazards on a jobsite. To test the hypothesis that the abnormality of workers' bodily responses in one location highly correlates with the likelihood of a safety hazard in that location, this project collected data on the bodily responses of 10 subjects who participated in five experiments. These test subjects wore inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors on their body. Then the collected response data were analyzed using three metrics [average, standard deviation, and Shapiro-Wilk statistic (W)]. The data showed that the normality of workers' bodily response distributions - represented as a W statistic - highly correlated with hazard locations in every experiment, which implies that workers' bodily responses in hazardous areas are more irregularly distributed than in nonhazardous areas. This outcome demonstrates an opportunity for utilizing workers' collective bodily responses to identify safety hazards in diverse construction environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04016090
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Bodily response
  • Collective sensing
  • Hazard identification
  • Inertial measurement unit (IMU)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying Safety Hazards Using Collective Bodily Responses of Workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this