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Bhandari, S, Hallowell, M R, Alruqi, W and Salas, R (2021) Modeling the Relationship between Personal Risk Tolerance, Work-Related Risk Tolerance, and Risk-Taking Behavior of Construction Workers. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 147(04).
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Construction safety; Risk tolerance; Safety decisions; Demographic information;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0002021
Despite the development and implementation of intensive health and safety training programs, the construction industry still remains one of the most dangerous industries. To remain safe, workers must be able to effectively identify, value, and respond to dangers in their work environment. The sense of comfort or discomfort associated with a hazard (i.e., risk tolerance) can play a significant role in the propensity to engage in an unsafe behavior. However, it remains unclear if, and to what extent, risk tolerance in personal life is associated with risk tolerance at work or with the propensity to break safety rules at work. To address this knowledge gap, this research tested the hypotheses that personal risk tolerance influences both work-related risk tolerance and the propensity to break safety rules. These hypotheses were tested using linear mixed-effects models with data from a survey administered to 11,811 workers from 19 countries. Results indicated that personal risk-tolerance is positively associated with both work-related risk tolerance and risk-taking behavior. However, when controlling for demographic dimensions, the relationship between personal risk tolerance and risk-taking behavior was no longer significant. Practically, these results suggest that holistic training programs for reducing or calibrating safety risk tolerance should focus on personal life in addition to work, and the demographics and social interactions of the workers also should be considered when studying safety behavior.