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Effect of boot weight on gait characteristics of men and women firefighters in negotiating obstacles.
Chiou-S; Turner-N; Zwiener-J; Weaver-D; Haskell-W; Ridenour-M
Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-103, 2011 Nov; :48-51
Successful navigation through the fire ground necessitates effective avoidance of obstacles and securing adequate footing. In this study, the toe-obstacle clearances significantly decreased as the boot weight and task time period increased. Insufficient toe-obstacle clearances often result in unsuccessful obstacle avoidance at the job site and may lead to loss of balance (Krell and Patla, 2002). Results from this study indicated that boot weight and task time period affected firefighters' gait characteristics in negotiating obstacles. Subjects were more likely to trip over obstacles when wearing heavier boots and after walking for a period of time. Men and women firefighters adopted different kinematic strategies in negotiating obstacles. By swinging the foot outward, female subjects increased the toe height to help maintain toe clearance above the obstacle. Findings from this study may provide scientific evidence for firefighters and manufacturers in boot selection and design for preventing falls on the fire ground. The findings and conclusions are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of NIOSH. Mention of any products does not constitute the endorsement of NIOSH.
Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Accident-statistics; Engineering; Ergonomics; Fire-fighters; Fire-protection-equipment; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Men; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Surface-properties; Walking-surfaces; Women; Work-environment
Sharon Chiou, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown WV 26505, USA
Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection