Optimal allocation of resources in construction safety: Analytical-empirical model

Igal M. Shohet, Massimiliano Luzi, Matan Tarshish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Safety in the construction industry, as well as in the infrastructure sector, has always been a key issue. One out of six fatal accidents at work occurs in a construction site. Therefore, preventive measures such as investment in safety must be formulated accordingly. However, construction companies are often reluctant to invest resources in preventive activities. This paper seeks to investigate the optimal safety investment that should be allocated in preventive safety equipment and activities. To this aim, at first a field survey was conducted in 30 construction projects in Israel. Key safety parameters of the accidents occurrence, investment in safety, and accidents costs (direct and indirect) were statistically characterized. Then, a Monte Carlo simulation was developed in order to validate the survey and calculate the total costs of safety depending on the degree of investment in preventive safety, according to three levels: modest, standard, and high investment. The findings show that the optimal safety investment is 1.0% of the project scope. Because of the chaotic distribution of results there is a substantial uncertainty for investment of less than 1.0%. The direct to indirect cost ratio of accidents was found to be 1:3.07, in line with the other figures in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalSafety Science
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Accidents
  • Construction Safety
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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