KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 1923–1938 | Cite as

A System Dynamics Model of Prevention through Design towards Eliminating Human Error

  • Xinlu Sun
  • Heap-Yih Chong
  • Pin-Chao LiaoEmail author
  • Dongping Fang
  • Yanqing Wang
Construction Management


Theoretically, prevention through design (PtD) is the most effective approach for eliminating human error in the field of construction. However, there is a lack of rigorous empirical analysis regarding the focal point of PtD. Hence, this research aims to develop a system dynamics model that depicts a mechanism for identifying the focal point of PtD and relevant design factors with respect to human error. Elevator installation serves as the scope of the model, and three sub-models of “cognition-behavior,” “environment-cognition,” and “design-environment” are developed. Their quantitative relationships are analyzed based on empirical data prior to the development of the system dynamics model. Subsequently, safety performance is simulated based on an eight-hour work day, and sensitivity analyses are conducted to determine the impact of each design factor on human error. This study provides insights into PtD using various design factors that can be generalized and used to develop safer designs under complex working environments.


human error prevention through design system dynamics model unsafe behavior 


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinlu Sun
    • 1
  • Heap-Yih Chong
    • 2
  • Pin-Chao Liao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dongping Fang
    • 1
  • Yanqing Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Construction ManagementTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Built EnvironmentCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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