Tower crane safety on construction sites: A complex sociotechnical system perspective

Tower crane is the lifeline of the construction industry, but tower crane accidents are still too frequent. Despite the significant progress in tower crane safety research, system thinking-based approaches are lacking. The aim of this paper is to analyze tower crane safety from a complex sociotechnical system perspective through implementing both qualitative and quantitative analysis methods. Characteristics of five tower crane safety system components are summarized with a new framework comprised of five system-based levels based on Rasmussen's risk management theory. Fifty-six contributing factors of tower crane safety were identified. The AcciMap technique was applied to qualitatively build a generic model for tower crane safety, which comprehensively presents the systems levels and casual paths of the contributing factors. A survey was conducted to quantitatively research the tower crane safety system. Nine main dimensions and 25 critical factors were found pertaining to the tower crane safety system. These results provide a new lens for tower crane safety and contribute new systems thinking applications in tower crane safety management.

Source: Zhou, W., Zhao, T., Liu, W. et Tang, J. (2018). Safety Science, 109, 95-108.

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