Exploring inattentional blindness in failure of safety risk perception: Focusing on safety knowledge in construction industry

Sung Joon Park, Chan Young Park, Changjun Lee, Seung Heon Han, Sungmin Yun, Dong Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Inattentional blindness (IB) is a popular human error associated with selective attention or inattention. It can be depicted as an individual's failing to notice or recognize a visual object or event due to a lack of active attention in a given situation. Dynamic situations at construction sites often can lead to IB, which can cause failure of safety risk perception (FSRP) on hazards and lead to potential accidents. Few studies have focused on the importance of the IB concept in the construction industry. To overcome this gap, 53 supervisors participated in an experiment to analyze the performance of IB in FSRP and safety knowledge-related factors that affect IB and FSRP to establish practical safety management strategies. The results show that IB accounted for 50% of FSRP, validating the importance of IB. Other factors, such as certified training and frequent exposure to accidents, also had positive impacts on reducing IB. Certification and external training showed positive impacts in the low-experience group but not on the high-experience group. Based on these findings, the IB concept should be considered when addressing construction safety management. Practical safety management strategies to improve IB should be applied differently according to the supervisor's experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105518
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In Korea, several professional external safety training programs and workshops are conducted, also known as commissioned education. To promote an engineer’s grade, engineers must take a mandatory 16-hour course sponsored by the Korea Safety Education Association. This study used professional external training as another source of explicit knowledge. The participants with external training were placed in Group A 2 , and the others into Group B 2 .

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) , grant number NRF-2018R1A5A1025137 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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