Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Using Workforce’s Physiological Strain Monitoring to Enhance Social Sustainability of Construction

Gatti, U.; Migliaccio, G.; Bogus, S.M.; Priyadarshini, S.; Scharrer, A. (2013). Using Workforce’s Physiological Strain Monitoring to Enhance Social Sustainability of Construction. Journal Of Architectural Engineering, 19(3), 179 – 85.

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Sustainability is often described in terms of the triple bottom line, which refers to its environmental, economic, and social dimensions. However, the economic and environmental impacts of decisions have been easier to determine than have been the social impacts. One area of social sustainability that is particularly applicable to construction projects is that of construction workforce safety and well-being. This is a critical part of sustainability, and a socially sustainable construction industry needs to consider the safety and well-being of construction workers. However, construction activities are generally physically demanding and performed in harsh environments. Monitoring workers' physical strain may be an important step toward enhancing the social sustainability of construction. Recently introduced physiological status monitors (PSMs) have overcome the past limitations, allowing physical strain to be monitored without hindering workers' activities. Three commercially available PSMs have been selected and tested to assess their reliability in monitoring a construction workforce during dynamic activities. The results show that two of the PSMs are suitable candidates for monitoring the physiological conditions of construction workers. A survey was also conducted among industry practitioners to gain insight into industry needs and challenges for physical strain monitoring.


Construction Industry; Environmental Factors; Labour Resources; Occupational Safety; Socio-economic Effects; Sustainable Development; Workforce Physiological Strain Monitoring; Social Sustainability; Socioeconomic Impacts; Environmental Impacts; Social Impacts; Construction Projects; Construction Workforce Safety; Physical Strain