NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Recovery gait following an unexpected slip.

Timcho EA; Chambers AJ; Cham R
Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, August 26-29, 2009, State College, Pennsylvania. Newark, DE: The American Society of Biomechanics, 2009 Aug; :852
Falls due to slipping are a major cause of injury. The incidence of falls results in high economic and societal costs including medical care and lost productivity. In 2000, approximately 11.6 million fatal and nonfatal incidences of falls were reported and total lifetime costs of injury due to falls were estimated at $81 billion. Falls often result from a loss of balance that can be attributed to slipping. Thus it is important to study response to slips and quantify biomechanics in order to improve workplace environments and decrease the number of slips and falls. One variable commonly evaluated when studying the biomechanics of slips is the required coefficient of friction (RCOF), defined as the ratio of shear force to normal force. Most slips occur due to a high ratio of shear force to normal force applied on a floor surface immediately following heel contact. Previous studies have shown that subjects adjust their gait on potentially slippery surfaces, which often results in a reduction in their peak RCOF as subjects reduce the relative shear force applied at heel contact. However, it has not been determined how quickly a subject's gait returns to normal patterns following a slip. The purpose of this study is to determine whether gait returns to normal baseline conditions after an unexpected slip by analyzing peak RCOF values before and after a slip.
Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Accidents; Physiological-function; Physiological-factors; Physiological-effects; Musculoskeletal-system; Biomechanics
Publication Date
Document Type
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Services; Mining: Oil and Gas Extraction; Services: Public Safety
Source Name
Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, August 26-29, 2009
Performing Organization
University of Pittsburgh
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division