VR-Based investigation of forklift operator situation awareness for preventing collision accidents

Minji Choi, Seungjun Ahn, Joon Oh Seo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Forklifts are among the machines involved with the highest levels of occupational fatalities. As many accidents involved with a forklift can be attributed to the low situation awareness (SA) of the operator, it is essential to understand the factors influencing a forklift operator's SA for reducing forklift accidents, especially of collision type. Against this background, this research aims to investigate how a forklift operator's SA about other people around can be influenced by the type of subtasks they are carrying out. In this research, a virtual reality (VR) environment is used as the experiment environment, in which subjects perform a series of subtasks, such as driving, turning, reversing, loading and unloading, with a VR forklift simulation model. A SAGAT—an established SA measurement technique based on a series of queries targeting Level 1, 2, and 3 SA—is used as the main method to collect data about subjects’ SA in the experiment. The analysis of the data reveals that a forklift operator is likely to have a reduced SA about the workers around when he/she is performing a loading or unloading task due to attention narrowing, which occurs when a person concentrates on a cognitively demanding task. The findings provide insights into how forklift operator SA could be improved through an SA-oriented safety training program and also how sensing technologies might assist forklift operators with maintaining a good SA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105404
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Construction worker
  • Forklift
  • Operator
  • Safety
  • Situation awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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