Risk-based look-ahead workspace generation for earthwork equipment using near real-time simulation

Faridaddin Vahdatikhaki, Amin Hammad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry accounted for more than 17% of fatal work injuries, i.e., 806 counts of death, in the U.S. in 2012. Approximately 75% of struck-by fatalities in the construction industry are reported to have been caused by heavy equipment. Researchers have addressed the need for the enhanced safety of earthwork equipment in two different streams, namely using advanced planning methods to avoid overlaps between the workspaces of different activities of equipment or using real-time tracking technologies to avoid the collision between equipment in the immediate future. However, none of these solutions enables the equipment to reliably predict the operation of other pieces of equipment for a long-enough time window to find a collision-free path using path re-planning. Accordingly, the present paper proposes a novel method to generate risk maps based on the integration of the pose and state data of the equipment with near-real-time simulation and considering the proximity-based and visibility-based risks. These risk maps are used to define dynamic workspaces that can in turn be used to perform path re-planning in a timely manner. The proposed method is implemented and tested in a case study. In light of the results of the case study, it is found that the proposed method is providing a reliable basis for the safety analysis of earthwork sites by generating workspaces with different levels of risk that can be used to provide timely alerts to different equipment and crews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalAutomation in construction
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2015


  • Earthwork equipment
  • Location systems
  • Look-ahead workspace
  • Real-time simulation
  • Risk map
  • Safety


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