Effects of foot placement on postural stability of construction workers on stilts.
Pan CS; Chiou S; Kau TY; Bhattacharya A; Ammons D
Appl Ergon 2009 Jul; 40(4):781-789
Stilts are elevated tools that are frequently used by construction workers to raise workers 18-40 inches above the ground. The objective of this laboratory study was to evaluate the potential loss of postural stability associated with the use of stilts in various foot placements. Twenty construction workers with at least 1 year of experience in the use of stilts participated in this study. One Kistler (TM) force platform was used to collect kinetic data. Participants were tested under six-foot-placement conditions. These 6 experimental conditions were statically tested under all combinations of 3 levels of elevation: 0 '' (no stilts), 24 '' stilt height and 40 '' stilt height. SAS mixed procedure was used to evaluate the effect of different experimental conditions. The results of the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and repeated measures of univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) demonstrated that stilt height, foot-placement direction, and foot-placement width all had significant effects on the whole-body postural stability. This study found that the higher the stilts were elevated, the greater the Postural instability. A stance position with one foot placed forward of the other foot produced greater postural instability than a position with the feet parallel and directly beneath the body. This study found that placement of the feet parallel and directly beneath the body, with the feet positioned a half shoulder width apart, caused a greater amount of postural sway and instability than one and one-and-half shoulder width. This study also found that construction workers using the stilts could perceive the likely Postural instability due to the change in foot placements.
Biomechanics; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Ergonomics; Height-factors; Manual-materials-handling; Musculoskeletal-system; Posture; Statistical-analysis; Work-operations; Workplace-studies; Work-practices;
Author Keywords: Stilts; Postural instability; Foot placements; Fall injuries
Christopher S. Pan, NIOSH, DSR, 1095 Willowdale Rd,MS-G800, Morgantown, WV 26505