ASCE has honored Sooyoung Choe, Aff.M.ASCE, and Fernanda L. Leite, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2018 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for their paper “Assessing Safety Risk Among Different Construction Trades: Quantitative Approach,” published in Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, May 2017.
It is well known that the construction industry has an unfavorable safety record and that improving this record is difficult because of the complexity of a typical construction site, and the number of differing types of trade workers and construction operations that must be active simultaneously in order to meet a typical schedule. Given these challenges, it is highly desirable to launch a well-focused effort to increase safety. The authors’ paper provides practitioners and researchers the necessary tools to put focus on such efforts.
Using publicly available data, Choe and Leite were able to analyze the relative safety of 19 different construction occupations, tracing sources of hazards and the sequence in which accidents occurred. In some cases, they were able to drill down to a level of detail that identified differences in how fatal accidents occurred and the time such incidents occurred. Different patterns were found for different trades that were using the same tools. The ability to put such a fine level of detail on such a general source of data in quite remarkable.
The Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize recognizes papers whose author describes in detail accomplished works of construction or which are valuable contributions to construction management and construction engineering.