Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ma, Junfeng

Committee Member

Jaradat, Raed

Committee Member

Zhou, Qian (Michelle)

Committee Member

Hamilton, Michael

Committee Member

Tian, Wenmeng

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) is the technical institute for precast/prestressed concrete industry. The plant involves activities such as placing high tensile steel strings inside the concrete products before they harden. This process needs the strings to be "stressed" hydraulically with high tension, which provides possibility of breaking the strand. Hence, employees may face a severe injury around the stressing bed. As various activities take place on the plant at the same time, employees must follow certain safety protocols while being around the plant. Another safety concern on the precast plant is silica exposure. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided various guidelines and tools to minimize silica exposure. Employees need to be careful and follow these safety protocols, otherwise it may lead to severe lung disease. Thus, employees need the appropriate safety training which will motivate them to follow safety protocols rigorously. The Bayesian Network (BN) methodology helps analyze plant structure to understand potential risk factors and causes that can be fixed by the employer paying more attention. The current traditional training methods such as videos, PowerPoint slides, or on-paper training, are not as effective in conveying the severity of the risky situations. This research focuses on precast plant activities while trying to identify the factors affecting plant safety. The current results suggest that using the BN study for the factors, such as stressing, chipping, leg injuries, tripping, and suspended loads, that may cause accidents or affect plant safety have a major impact on overall plant safety. Further sections of the dissertation discuss Fault Tree Analysis for risk assessment. It is observed that the BN study outperforms the risk assessment. Improvisation in safety protocols associated with these factors will help mitigate overall plant risks. In addition, study includes the development of immersive training methods and comparison of the immersive method to current safety training methods. Virtual Reality (VR) training module provides significant evidence to improvement in motivation level compared to traditional training. Knowledge gain concerning the safety protocols proves to be increasing for employees after the VR training method compared to the traditional training methods.


PCI Daniel P. Jenny Fellowship (2018-2019)