An interactive agent-based modelling framework for assessing COVID-19 transmission risk on construction site

Qingyao Qiao, Clara Cheung, Akilu Yunusa-Kaltungo, Patrick Manu, Ruifeng Cao, Ziyue Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the world and society in its entirety. The labour-intensive construction industry is especially disrupted by COVID-19 and construction workers have a higher chance of exposure to COVID-19. Despite the extensiveness of qualitative and quantitative research around the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry, it is observed that very limited proportion of such research actually investigated the COVID-19 dynamics within a specific construction site as well as the effectiveness of the corresponding safety control measures. Given this context, this study developed an interactive agent-based modelling framework embedded with a modified susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) model for assessing COVID-19 transmission risk on construction sites, with the application of five safety control measures (i.e., SCM including face covering, vaccination, ventilation, social distance and isolation). This study afterwards set up 108 SCM scenarios based on the five SCM and sensitivity analyses were conducted in order to generate robust results. Based on the simulation results, the efficacy of the 5 SCM in preventing COVID-19 spread was assessed. Therefore, the results of the 108 scenarios are a useful scientific reference for stakeholders or policymakers when making decisions regarding mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases within the construction sector.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106312
JournalSafety Science
Early online date28 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Agent-based modelling
  • COVID-19
  • Construction site
  • SEIR model
  • Safety control measures


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