Fault Tree Analysis for Accident Prevention in Transportation Infrastructure Projects
Lee, Hyun Woo
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Heavy civil construction projects, including transportation construction, account for 20 percent of the fatalities in the construction industry, which is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States. To improve the safety performance of the industry, the objectives of this research are (1) to identify the most frequent types of accidents during transportation infrastructure projects, (2) to identify the root and intermediate causes for those accidents, and (3) to analyze the causes of accidents to identify the relationship between causes. OSHA’s Fatality and Catastrophe Investigation Summaries were used to identify accident types and causes for accidents on the Pacific Northwest region. Fault tree analysis was then used to determine the intermediate and root causes for each case. Lastly, cause analysis and minimal cut set analysis were performed to identify the most frequent causes and the relationship between them. Results showed that the most frequent types of accidents were struck by/against an object, caught in/between objects, falls, and electric shock, while the most common causes of accidents were misjudgment, inappropriate procedures, insufficient training, and miscommunication. The minimal cut set analysis indicated that each accident required between two and four causes to happen together to result in a fatality or serious injury. The results from this study are expected to support construction professionals in improving safety in the field, removing common causes of accidents leading to fatalities and serious injuries, and improving safety training procedures.