A suggested color scheme for reducing perception-related accidents on construction work sites

Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Sep;48:185-92. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.04.022. Epub 2011 May 14.


Changes in workforce demographics have led to the need for more sophisticated approaches to addressing the safety requirements of the construction industry. Despite extensive research in other industry domains, the construction industry has been passive in exploring the impact of a color scheme; perception-related accidents have been effectively diminished by its implementation. The research demonstrated that the use of appropriate color schemes could improve the actions and psychology of workers on site, thereby increasing their perceptions of potentially dangerous situations. As a preliminary study, the objects selected by rigorous analysis on accident reports were workwear, safety net, gondola, scaffolding, and safety passage. The colors modified on site for temporary facilities were adopted from existing theoretical and empirical research that suggests the use of certain colors and their combinations to improve visibility and conspicuity while minimizing work fatigue. The color schemes were also tested and confirmed through two workshops with workers and managers currently involved in actual projects. The impacts of color schemes suggested in this paper are summarized as follows. First, the color schemes improve the conspicuity of facilities with other on site components, enabling workers to quickly discern and orient themselves in their work environment. Secondly, the color schemes have been selected to minimize the visual work fatigue and monotony that can potentially increase accidents.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Color
  • Color Perception*
  • Construction Industry / instrumentation
  • Construction Industry / methods
  • Construction Industry / standards*
  • Facility Design and Construction / instrumentation
  • Facility Design and Construction / methods
  • Facility Design and Construction / standards*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology
  • Occupational Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Protective Devices*
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Safety Management / methods*