Wearable Sensing Devices: Towards the Development of a Personalized System for Construction Safety and Health Risk Mitigation
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Wearable sensing devices (WSDs) are increasingly helping workers stay safe and healthy in several industries. However, workers, especially in the construction industry, have shown some aversion towards the use of WSDs due to their ability to capture specific information that may be considered personal and private. However, this revered information may provide some critical insight needed by management to plan and optimize worksite safety and support technology adoption in decision making. Therefore, there is a need to develop personalized WSD systems that are mutually beneficial to workers and management to ensure successful WSD integration. The present study aims to contribute to knowledge and practice by filling this critical gap using insight from 330 construction workers with experience using WSDs. The results from this study indicate that all 11 WSD functions identified through this study play a vital role in improving worker safety and health and that approximately two out of three workers are open to sharing the physiological and environmental information captured using these WSDs with their management. However, functions for detecting workers’ proximity to workplace hazards, specifically energized electrical materials, toxic gas, and fire/smoke, were the most critical functions that had mutual value to workers and management. Finally, the present study proposed and evaluated a phased personalized WSD system that should encourage successful WSD integration.