2012-04-01 12:00 - Messages

Falling short in workplace safety

An analysis of falls in the construction sector
Falls from height and falls on the same level are a significant cause of harm in the construction sector. It is estimated that nearly one-third of serious harm accidents in construction result from slips, trips, or falls, either from height or on the same level.
Falling Short in Workplace Safety analyses 340 serious harm investigation files related to falls in the construction industry in 2007 to 2009. The accidents represented in this study include nine fatal accidents. The key findings of the analysis are presented here. These findings represent situations where accidents occurred, rather than practices across the entire construction sector.

Source : http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/research/falling-short-workplace-safety/

Development of new footwear sole surface pattern for prevention of slip-related falls

In this study, a new rubber surface pattern for a footwear sole was developed to prevent slip-related falls. This pattern shows a high static coefficient of friction (SCOF) and a high dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) when sliding against a liquid contaminated surface. A hybrid rubber block, in which a rubber block with a rough surface (Ra = 30.4 μm) was sandwiched between two rubber blocks with smooth surfaces (Ra = 0.98 μm), was prepared. The ratio of the rough surface area to the whole rubber block surface area r was 0%, 30%, 50%, 80%, and 100%. The coefficient of friction of the rubber blocks was measured when sliding against a stainless steel plate with Ra of 0.09 μm contaminated with a 90% aqueous solution of glycerol. While the SCOF increased with an increase of the rough surface area ratio r, the DCOF during steady-state sliding decreased with an increase of the rough surface area ratio r. The rough surface area ratio of 50% achieved a SCOF value around 0.5 or more and a DCOF value greater than 0.5. Furthermore, the difference in the value of the SCOF and DCOF was the smallest for the rubber block with r of 50%. The results indicated that the rubber block with r of 50% would be applicable to a footwear sole surface pattern to prevent slip and fall accidents on contaminated surfaces.

Source : Yamaguchi T, Umetsu T, Ishizuka Y, Kasuga K, Ito T, Ishizawa S, Hokkirigawa K. Safety Sci. 2012; 50(4): 986-994.

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