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Control and perception of balance at elevated and sloped surfaces.

Authors
Simeonov-PI; Hsiao-H; Dotson-BW; Ammons-DE
Source
Hum Factors 2003 Spring; 45(1):136-147
NIOSHTIC No.
20023874
Abstract
Understanding roof-work-related risk of falls and developing low-cost, practical engineering controls for reducing this risk remain in high demand in the construction industry. This study investigated the effects of the roof work environment characteristics of surface slope, height, and visual reference on standing balance in construction workers. The 24 participants were tested in a laboratory setting at 4 slopes (0, 18,26, and 34), 2 heights (0, 3 m), and 2 visual conditions (with and without visual references). Postural sway characteristics were calculated using center of pressure recordings from a force platform. Workers' perceptions of postural sway and instability were also evaluated. The results indicated that slope and height synergistically increased workers' standing postural instability. Workers recognized the individual destabilizing effects of slope and height but did not recognize the synergistic effect of the two. Visual references significantly reduced the destabilizing effects of height and slope. Actual and potential applications of this research include the use of temporary level work surfaces and proximal vertical reference structures as postural instability control measures during roofing work.
Keywords
Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Engineering-controls; Human-factors-engineering; Risk-factors; Roofers; Roofing-industry; Work-environment; Safety-engineering; Slope-stability; Walking-surfaces; Visual-perception; Height-factors
Contact
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
CODEN
HUFAA6
Publication Date
20030301
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
psimeonov@cdc.gov
Funding Type
Construction
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0018-7208
NIOSH Division
DSR
Source Name
Human Factors
State
WV
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