Effects of environmental and job-task factors on workers' gait characteristics on slippery surfaces.
Chiou SS; Bhattacharya A; Lai C-F; Succop PA
Occup Ergon 2002/2003 Dec; 3(4):209-223
The objective of this study was to investigate the kinetic and kinematic aspects of slips associated with gait on a slippery surface under various environmental and job-task risk factors. Forty healthy industrial workers (age: 40.3 - 14.9 years) participated in the study. Using a strain gauge type force platform and a video-based motion analysis system, kinetic and kinematic measurements of the subjects' foot movements were obtained. Of all gait trials, there were 1558 slips (60.9%). Slips were likely to occur when subjects were negotiating a turning path and an oily surface. Greater anterior-posterior center of pressure (CP) excursion and maximum required coefficient of friction (RCOF) were found for oily surfaces compared to dry surfaces. Subjects changed their gait patterns by shortening their stride length, slowing walking speed, and decreasing heel contact angle in the poorly lit and slippery environment. Significant correlations were found between slip occurrence and anterior-posterior CP excursion, mean RCOF, sliding distance and sliding velocity, but not the coefficient of friction (COF) of shoes. In addition to good housekeeping and proper selection of floor materials and safety shoes, slip and fall prevention should include proper workers' training in dealing with risk factors of slips and falls in the workplace.
Posture; Ergonomics; Motion studies; Musculoskeletal system; Environmental factors; Environmental technology; Analytical processes; Neuromotor system; Work environment; Work analysis; Walking surfaces; Training; Risk factors; Risk analysis; Protective measures; Safety education; Safety equipment; Safety research; Safety practices;
Author Keywords: slip; gait adaption; turning path; slip and fall prevention
Sharon S. Chiou, NIOSH, DSR, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS G-800, Mprgantown, WV 26505
University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio