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Effect of having a-priori knowledge of the floor's contaminant condition of the biomechanics of slips.
Cham R; Moyer B; Redfern MS
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 4, 2002, Baltimore, Maryland, Bringing Fundamentals & New Opportunities. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2002 Sep; 46(Ind Erg):1181-1185
Injuries and deaths are often the result of slips/falls. The perceived danger of slipping affects gait biomechanics. This paper investigated the effect of having a-priori knowledge of the floor's contaminant condition on the biomechanics of slips. Five healthy young male subjects donned a safety harness and walked across a walkway, while ground reaction forces and whole body motion were recorded bilaterally at 60 Hz. Slips on soapy floors occurred under 3 "knowledge" conditions: (1) unexpected slips, (2) slips when uncertain of the contaminant condition, and (3) slips when walking onto known contaminated floors. In (2) and (3), i.e. anticipation of slippery surfaces, subjects generated proactive reactions (reduced stance duration and foot angle at heel contact as well as greater hip flexion) compared to unexpected conditions in (1). Those reactions reduced slip potential but also minimized gait disturbances (reduced slip distance and sliding velocity of the heel) when a slip occurred.
Biomechanics; Floors; Accident-prevention; Surface-properties; Injury-prevention; Humans
Issue of Publication
Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 4, 2002, Baltimore, Maryland, Bringing Fundamentals & New Opportunities
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: October 9, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division