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Electroadhesion technology for extension ladder slip control.

Simeonov P; Prahlad H; Hsiao H; Pelrine R; Kim S; McCoy B
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; :202-205
Although the current project clearly demonstrated the promise of electroadhesion for enhancing ladder stability, further research and development efforts are required to mature the technology for this application. In particular, the following are some of the R&D needs: improved ruggedness/durability of the EA pads; easy attachment and replacement design; automatic activation; improved adaptability to more complex surface profiles; comprehensive evaluation; and consideration of input/feedback from ladder users, industrial partners, and safety professionals. The study demonstrated that electroadhesion technology may be very beneficial for improving extension ladder stability. A "proof-of-concept" prototype of an EA device was developed and its performance was analyzed using a mechanical model. The results demonstrated that an EA device can significantly reduce the required coefficient of friction at the ladder base for a given ladder angle, or allow using the ladder at non-optimal angles without danger of slipping. In addition to demonstrating for the first time the concept of ladder safety enhancement using electroadhesion, the study showed at this "proof-of-principle" stage that: EA pads can be designed and integrated into an existing ladder in a way that doesn't obstruct the normal use of the ladder; EA can significantly reduce the risk of slipping of an extension ladder on most floor surfaces; and a kinematic model of the ladder can be used to predict the EA effects on ladder stability performance.
Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Accident-statistics; Biomechanics; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-properties; Electric-properties; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Floors; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Ladders; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-engineering; Safety-measures; Safety-research; Statistical-analysis; Surface-properties; Training; Work-analysis; Workplace-studies
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Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division