Quantifying safety in off-site construction

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University of New Brunswick


The concept of leveraging off-site construction as a safer alternative has been presented by researchers and industry, but support of this with quantifiable data is lacking. To investigate differences in off-site construction versus conventional on-site methods, the research has developed a safety evaluation methodology to quantify safety risks and allow for comparisons. The methodology leverages historical safety data from the Province of New Brunswick to provide inputs for a risk-based process analysis. The methodology is partially validated in its’ application to two case studies: a mid-rise modular hotel construction project that employed both conventional and off-site construction methods, and a prefabricated panel installation. The evaluation takes a construction product-focused approach with emphasis on defining a complete material supply chain. The case studies demonstrated the generalizability and feasibility of the evaluation method, and also found off-site construction to be safer in the specified context of the mixed method hotel construction.