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An analysis of occupational stair accident patterns.
Cohen HH; Templer J; Archea J
J Saf Res 1985 Dec; 16(4):171-181
Occupational injury data relating to stairway falls were analyzed. The injury data were based on reports from the Ohio and California workers' compensation agencies. Frequency tabulations were provided for factors including location of accident (indoors versus outdoors, on or off employer's premises), task (ascending versus descending, body movement, task being attempted), and events precipitating the fall. In 636 of 688 cases (92 percent), falls occurred when the worker was descending the stairs. Four broad categories of events related to accident frequency were identified; these included design induced conditions, environmentally related conditions, inherent user characteristics, and performance factors. Unfamiliar stair situations were associated with many falls; these included sudden changes in a familiar staircase due to maintenance or housekeeping and use of an unfamiliar staircase. User performance errors accounted for 50 percent of all injuries. Accidents could generally be attributed to system failures involving interactions of multiple factors. Countermeasures included training and safe work practice reinforcement. Injury records from the New York and Ohio workers' compensation agencies were used to rank industries in terms of frequency and severity rates of stairway related injuries; miscellaneous manufacturing industries were number one by far, followed by public health administration, police and fire protection, and membership organizations.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-79-0020; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Injuries; Workplace-studies; Accident-statistics; Environmental-factors; Risk-factors; Accident-analysis
Issue of Publication
Journal of Safety Research
CA; NY; OH
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division