AbstractEvery year more than 100 fatal accidents occur in road work zones. One of the major causes of pedestrian workers being struck by construction vehicles is that workers become habituated to the warning alarms of these vehicles. Researchers suggest that workers with certain personality traits (e.g., boredom proneness and extraversion) are more likely to become habituated to workplace hazards and therefore have a higher likelihood than other workers of being involved in an accident. This study investigated which aspects of personality correlate with workers’ accident proneness and their vulnerability to habituation to warning alarms in road work zones. An experiment with actual road construction workers was performed using a virtual reality (VR) environment. The results reveal that boredom susceptibility (one of the subdimensions of the personality trait of sensation seeking) is negatively correlated with workers’ attention to warning alarms, and that boredom-prone workers were more likely to be involved in a virtual struck-by accident. The findings of this study provide conceptual motivation for tailoring safety training to individual workers’ personality traits.

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