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Blackmon, R B and Gramopadhye, A K (1995) Improving Construction Safety by Providing Positive Feedback on Backup Alarms. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 121(02), 166–71.
- Type: Journal Article
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(1995)121:2(166)
Federally mandated backup alarms and safety management have been unable to eliminate fatalities and injuries due to maneuvering trucks and mobile equipment on construction sites. Workers appear to ignore the alarms as part of the general noise level. When reversing, drivers and equipment operators tend to depend on the alarm's effectiveness to clear areas in which drivers have limited visibility. Using human factors analysis, the problem was recognized as one of decremented vigilance, a person's natural inability to sustain attention without positive feedback. This paper presents experimental data on the use of a simulated, discriminating, personal alarm activated by a short range, directional transmitter to encourage safe behavior. During the experiment there was a significant increase in response time, as expected, for the conventional backup alarm and a decrease in response time for the discriminating personal alarm. The proposed backup alarm system has the potential to eliminate on-site vehicle/equipment accidents.