Investigating the implementation of immersive technologies within on-site construction safety processes

SWALLOW, Mark and ZULU, Sambo (2023). Investigating the implementation of immersive technologies within on-site construction safety processes. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology.

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Purpose The benefits of integrating immersive technologies (ImTs) within a construction safety context are acknowledged within the literature; however, its practical application on construction sites remains low. Whilst research into the integration of ImTs within the construction industry is underway, most have viewed this from a broader adoption context or within educational settings, and not specifically from a practical on-site safety perspective. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to address the contributing factors to its integration within on-site safety processes, using the experiences of active construction professionals. Design/methodology/approach This study adopts a qualitative approach. Data was collected through online focus groups involving UK based construction professionals with experience in using ImTs, recruited using selective sampling. Data sets were subsequently analysed using inductive thematic analysis and are presented within key themes. Findings The results showed that among the experienced construction professionals, the use of ImTs specifically for on-site safety applications (including inductions/training/workshops) was rare on projects. The findings identified various contributing factors related to the integration of ImTs, including the potential improvements in on-site safety practices such as enhanced communication of hazards, safety planning, engagement during training and more accurate risk assessment. Critical challenges, concerns and frustrations included a lack of engagement from senior level management, inadequate leadership, limited investment, a need for digital expertise, fear of complacency and the acceptance of ImTs within existing safety processes from the wider project team. Originality/value This study provides a fresh perspective to this field by using practical accounts from active and experienced on-site construction professionals. This study supports the integration of ImTs within the construction industry, presenting key contributing factors influencing its integration within on-site safety processes. These factors can be considered by industry adopters, and includes the rationale, challenges and potential on-site benefits of ImTs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** From Emerald via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article: ** Peer reviewed: TRUE **Journal IDs: issn 1726-0531 **History: accepted 29-05-2023; rev-recd 09-05-2023; submitted 03-01-2023
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information Communication Technology, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AND SOFTWARE, Health and Safety, MANAGEMENT, Virtual Reality
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 11:47
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:02

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