2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Potential Implications of Job Cognitive and Physical Demand on Worker Safety: An Exploratory Study

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Mr. Mohammed Azeez, Oregon State University
Dr. John Gambatese, Oregon State University
Mr. Ding Liu, Oregon State University (Presenter)

With all the technological improvements and innovation to facilitate the work of field workers, construction is still categorized as one of the most physically demanding jobs. Job nature and job requirements are often incorporated in research, including safety research, but studies have not explored what job nature and job demand mean. The construction industry is also cognitively demanding, where workers have to measure materials and objects, assess work conditions, review information and identify problems, engage in decision-making, and produce a product that follows standards. These cognitive abilities combined with the physical capabilities that construction work requires might be a beneficial vantage point to investigate and address accidents at work.

This research aims to address the knowledge gap in our understanding of job nature by conducting a meta-analysis of both cognitive and physical demands using publicly-available data. The initial hypothesis is that jobs with a higher demand level(s), whether cognitive demand, physical demand, or both, have an association with a higher chance of accidents at work. To demystify this hypothesis, a comparative study between jobs in different industries was conducted. The result indicates that there is an imbalance between the level of both the cognitive demand and the physical demand between industries. Such imbalance might be the cause for the higher number of injuries associated with these jobs.