With all of the efforts that have been conducted over the past 100 years since the first accident causation theory was published, the Accident Proneness theory by Vernon (1918), the construction still trails among different industries in terms of fatal and nonfatal work injuries. Theories and models that have been established over time state that an accident primarily results from worker acts, system error, or a mix of both. Additionally, some theories and models highlight the direct and indirect root causes of safety issues and jobsite injuries. This research study further considers this approach by emphasizing the impact of the project’s design on worker safety. That is, the study explores the resulting interaction among workers and construction components, and the workers’ interaction among themselves with regard to a specific design element.
This dissertation describes research efforts that define the Degrees of Connectivity (DoC) model that conceptualizes these interactions, explores the practical existence of this kind of interaction, and quantifies the resulting risks. The interactions are perceived as connections among the design elements and the workers in a network style of connectivity. The dissertation contains three manuscripts. The first manuscript introduces the framework of the aforementioned interactions and examines the model existence theoretically. The second manuscript analyzes the field interactions to support the practical existence of the suggested model. Finally, the third manuscript quantifies the risks resulting from the interactions. This research study provides those who are interested in construction safety with another perspective regarding the root causes of accidents. Moreover, the study emphasizes the importance of considering the impact of these stated connections when designing for safety. Finally, new methods for analyzing construction personnel interactions, both on site or off site, are introduced in this dissertation.