Intelligent Wearable Technologies for Workforce Safety in Built Environment Projects in South Africa

Lerato Aghimien, Ntebo Ngcobo, Douglas Aghimien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a quest for the safe and sustainable delivery of built environment projects in South Africa, this study explored intelligent wearable technologies (IWTs). A post-positivism philosophical stance was adopted by surveying 165 built environment experts. The technology–organisation–environment (T–O–E) framework was also employed in understanding the critical factors influencing the use of IWTs in the study area. Data analyses used mean scores, the Kruskal–Wallis H-test, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modelling (SEM) with appropriate model fit indices. It was found that, albeit at a slow pace, IWTs such as smart safety vests embedded with indoor GPS/sensors, smartwatches, and smart safety helmets are gradually gaining popularity within the South African built environment. SEM revealed that while all the assessed T–O–E factors are important to the increased use of IWTs within the study area, the environment- and technology-related factors will significantly impact how individuals and organisations use these beneficial wearable technologies. This study contributes to the existing discourse on intelligent technologies for the safety of the built environment workforce from the South African perspective, where such studies have received less attention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3498
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • SEM
  • T–O–E
  • construction workforce safety
  • intelligent technologies
  • occupational health and safety
  • smart wearables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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