Understanding the effect of co-worker support on construction safety performance from the perspective of risk theory: An agent-based modeling approach

Tingting Ji, Hsi Hsien Wei, Jiayu Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Co-worker safety support has been given prominence in manufacturing and transportation field for its positive effect on individual workers’ safety; however, there is little evidence to show if such supporting role of co-workers is significant in improving project-level safety performance in construction workplace. This study adopts agent-based modeling (ABM) to understand the effectiveness of two distinct co-worker-safety-support actions on the safety performance of a construction project. Based on the risk theory, the ABM model simulates a construction site where worker agents reinforce steel bars with the likelihood of suffering crane-related incidents. The results indicate that both co-worker-support actions can significantly reduce the occurrence of nonfatal incidents but shows little influence in fatal incidents, and in reducing high-severity incidents, the action of warning peers to leave the hazardous area has the same effectiveness as reminding peers to wear Personal Protective Equipment. The present study provides a fresh insight into the safety-related role of co-workers: not only reveals how the local-level effects of co-workers’ safety assistance emerge the system-level consequences, but demonstrates the effectiveness of specific peer-support actions on three levels of construction safety performance, and thereby extends our existing body of knowledge on co-worker safety support in the construction field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Agent-based modeling
  • Co-worker support
  • Construction management
  • Construction safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Strategy and Management

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