The construction industry accounts for a high number of accidents. Although identifying hazards before construction starts or during construction is widely employed to prevent accidents, it typically fails because of insufficient safety experience. The experience helps in training novice inspectors, although extracting and describing tacit knowledge explicitly is difficult. This study created a 3-D virtual construction site, and designed a hazard-identification experiment involving 14 hazards (e.g., falls, collapses, and electric shocks), and an eye-tracker was used to compare the search patterns of the experienced and novice workers. The results indicated that experience assisted the experienced workers in assessing hazards significantly faster than the novice workers could; however, it did not improve the accuracy with which they identified hazards, indicating that general work experience is not equivalent to safety-specific experience, and may not necessarily improve workers' accuracy in identifying hazards. Nevertheless, the experienced workers were more confident in identifying hazards, they exhibited fewer fixations.