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Effects of foot placement, hand positioning, age, and climbing biodynamics on ladder slip outcomes.

Authors
Pliner-EM; Campbell-Kyureghyan-NH; Beschorner-KE
Source
Ergonomics 2014 Nov; 57(11):1739-1749
NIOSHTIC No.
20044879
Abstract
Ladder falls frequently cause severe injuries; yet the factors that influence ladder slips/falls are not well understood. This study aimed to quantify (1) the effects of restricted foot placement, hand positioning, climbing direction and age on slip outcomes, and (2) differences in climbing styles leading to slips versus styles leading to non-slips. Thirty-two occupational ladder users from three age groups (18-24, 25-44 and 45-64 years) were unexpectedly slipped climbing a vertical ladder, while being assigned to different foot placement conditions (unrestricted vs. restricted toe clearance) and different hand positions (rails vs. rungs). Constraining foot placement increased the climber's likelihood of slipping ( p < 0.01), while younger and older participants slipped more than the middle-aged group ( p < 0.01). Longer double stance time, dissimilar and more variable foot and body positioning were found in styles leading to a slip. Maintaining sufficient toe clearance and targeting ladder safety training to younger and older workers may reduce ladder falls. Practitioner Summary: Ladder falls frequently cause severe occupational fall injuries. This study aims to identify safer ladder climbing techniques and individuals at risk of falling. The results suggest that ladders with unrestricted toe clearance and ladder climbing training programmes, particularly for younger and older workers, may reduce ladder slipping risk.
Keywords
Ergonomics; Ladders; Fall-protection; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Climbing; Motion-studies; Age-factors; Age-groups; Biomechanics; Biodynamics; Body-mechanics; Body-regions; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Physiology; Author Keywords: ladder falls; climbing biomechanics; aging; slips, trips and falls
Contact
Kurt E. Beschorner, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
CODEN
ERGOAX
Publication Date
20141101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
beschorn@pitt.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2015
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R21-OH-010038; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008672; M082014
Issue of Publication
11
ISSN
0014-0139
Source Name
Ergonomics
State
WI; PA; IL
Performing Organization
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
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