American Society of Civil Engineers

Identification and Analysis of Factors Affecting Safety on Construction Sites with Tower Cranes

by Aviad Shapira, (corresponding author), F.ASCE, (Assoc. Prof., Fac. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Technion-Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa 32000, Israel E-mail: and Beny Lyachin, (Requirements Mgr., Siemens Transp. Turnkey Systems Ltd., 132 Menachem Begin Blvd., Tel Aviv 67021, Israel; formerly, Grad. Student, Fac. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Technion-Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa 32000, Israel)

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 135, No. 1, January 2009, pp. 24-33, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Section Heading: Labor and Personnel Issues
Abstract: Tower cranes are the centerpiece of production on today’s typical building construction sites. Tower cranes hoist and transport a variety of loads near and above people, working under crowded conditions, occasionally with overlapping work zones, and often under time, budget, and labor constraints. This work regime further increases the safety risk on sites that are inherently hazardous workplaces. This paper presents the results of a study that identified the major factors affecting safety in tower-crane environments and evaluated the degree to which each factor influences ongoing safety on site. Use of statistical data on accidents was ruled out as a source of information due to the countless number of incidents that go unreported, the common inability of statistics to provide root causes, and the questionability of statistics as a predictor of accidents. The research methodology was therefore based on comprehensive questioning of an expert team that included the safety managers and equipment managers of leading construction companies. With the limited resources available for safety improvement and accident prevention, greater attention must be paid by all parties involved to those factors evaluated as highly affecting site safety due to tower-crane work.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction sites
Human factors
Natural hazards