SliDeRulE Background

SliDeRule and the SliDeRulE website were created and developed by researchers in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. The idea for SliDeRulE was conceived by Dr. John Gambatese and Mr. Vineeth Dharmapalan. Implementation of the research methodology and determination of initial design risk factors were conducted by Vineeth Dharmapalan as part of his MS degree with John Gambatese as his advising professor. Additional design risk factors and the SliDeRulE website were subsequently developed by Dr. John Gambatese and Mr. Joe Fradella with support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Contributors to SliDeRulE and the website also included Mr. Ali Moghaddam Vahed who performed data analysis, and Ms. Rui Qin who designed and programmed the website.

Research and Development

The design risk factors utilized by SliDeRulE were determined and quantified using targeted interviews and surveys of construction industry personnel. The researchers began by creating a list of the systems present within buildings and the typical design elements within each system. This list included all of the potential alternatives for each of the elements (e.g., for concrete structures, both precast and cast-in-place concrete for beams). For each listed element, the researchers identified the specific construction tasks required to construct each element. Lastly, the researchers identified the typical worker productivity associated with the construction of each element (e.g., the number of worker hours required per cubic yard of concrete).

Using targeted interviews and surveys of general and trade contractors, the researchers obtained input from a diverse sample of experienced construction site personnel who construct each of the elements. The site personnel identified the frequency with which injuries of different severities occur for each of the tasks associated with each of the design element. The site personnel were additionally asked to identify the duration of exposure for each task, and any special design features that either increase or decrease the safety risk associated with each design element. The researchers then calculated the design risk factors for each design element using statistical analyses of the aggregated input from all of the site personnel.

More detailed descriptions of the research methodology, data analysis, and results are provided in the following research documents:

Acknowledgment and Contributors

SliDeRulE and the SliDeRulE website were made possible through the contributions of many individuals. We would like to thank all of the representatives of the construction firms who provided data for the research. We are especially grateful to the construction superintendents and safety managers who participated by providing information for the research study in spite of their busy schedules. Without the time and effort provided by all of these individuals, SliDeRulE and this website would not be possible. Thank you.

In addition, research and development of SliDeRulE and the SliDeRulE website were funded in part through financial support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). We would like to thank NIOSH for its support for the research and commitment to improving construction worker safety and health through the design of a project.

For More Information

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