2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Evaluating the Effects of Mental Workload and Spatial Cognition on Prevention through Design Activities

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Dr. Dylan Hardison, East Carolina University (Presenter)

Construction Hazard Prevention through Design (CHPtD) is an injury prevention method that is achieved by reviewing design information to identify and mitigate hazards before they are encountered in construction. It has been postulated in construction safety literature that three-dimensional computerized design information is superior to two-dimensional paper-based design as 3D visualizations will allow users to spatially orient themselves within the design yielding increased hazard anticipation as compared to 2D designs alone. Unfortunately, it is unknown spatial cognitive ability affects hazard anticipation skills in design. To test this, a series of experimental trials were conducted with a mixture of 81 construction designers, construction supervisors, and civil engineering students to determine if spatial cognitive capabilities associated with various formats of design information influence hazard anticipation performance during CHPtD tasks. Participants were provided mutually-exclusive arrangements of traditional two-dimensional construction drawings, three-dimensional computer visualizations, and a combination of the two and asked to identify all possible safety hazards associated with three discrete construction work activities. Prior to the task, participants completed card and cube rotation tests to assess pre-existing personal spatial cognitive capability. Pearson’s correlation tests were used to measure the association among these variables. The results indicate that there is no association between spatial cognitive ability and hazard anticipation performance for the formats provided. The results conflict with the prevailing belief that 3D visualizations are superior to 2D visualizations in terms of promoting hazard anticipation.