Safety risk interactions among highway construction work tasks

Matthew Hallowell, Behzad Esmaeili, Paul Chinowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Recent research has produced frameworks for integrating safety risk data into project schedules, visual models and other construction planning tools. Unfortunately, only a few studies have attempted to quantify base-level safety risk for construction tasks and no study has attempted to quantify the degree to which spatial and temporal interactions among tasks contribute to the potential for injury. A research study was performed to quantify the impact that pair-wise spatial and temporal interactions have on the base-level risk of 25 common highway construction work tasks in the United States. Six hundred risk interactions were quantified by obtaining and aggregating over 23 500 individual ratings from certified experts using the Delphi method. The results indicate that incompatible tasks may increase the base-level risk up to 60%. The most incompatible highway construction tasks are: (1) installing curbs and gutters and installing rigid pavement; and (2) construction zone traffic control and installing rigid pavement. Additionally, watering and dust palliatives and pavement marking is the one compatible task pair and there are 45 neutral task pairs. The resulting database and analysis have the potential to increase the efficacy of existing frameworks for integration of safety risk data with project planning tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Project management
  • Risk analysis
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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