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Ergonomic evaluation of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members
Purpose: The ergonomic performance of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members is significant for its protective performance. Design/methodology/approach: By experimental simulations of the rescue tasks, an evaluation system for the protective clothing in both static and dynamic conditions was designed and established in this study. In static evaluation, motion capture system was used to measure the ranges of motions. The mobility was analyzed by the comprehensive evaluation method. In dynamic experiments, three types of rescue tasks were simulated for ergonomic...
Straight ladder inclined angle in a field environment
The relationship among actual angle, method of setup and knowledgee Ladder inclined angle is a critical factor that could lead to a slip at the base of portable straight ladders, a major cause of falls from heights. Despite several methods established to help workers achieve the recommended 75.5° angle for ladder setup, it remains unclear if these methods are used in practice. This study explored ladder setup behaviors in a field environment. Professional installers of a company in the cable and other pay TV industry were observed for ladder setup at their worksites. The results showed that...
Similarities between work related musculoskeletal disorders and slips, trips and falls
Most occupational risks manifest themselves through movements performed at work, for example musculoskeletal disorders, slips, trips and falls. Research focusing on such risks often differentiates diseases from accidents. All these risks prove to be diffuse, widespread, emergent and devoid of an external harmful hazard, when analysed through their common vector, i.e. through the movements manifesting them. These characteristics have a strong impact on risk perception and on approaches necessary to ensure sustainable prevention. A participative search for local solutions to preventing these risks...
Effect of firefighters' personal protective equipment on gait
The biomechanical experiment with eight male and four female firefighters demonstrates that the effect of adding essential equipment: turnout ensemble, self-contained breathing apparatus, and boots (leather and rubber boots), significantly restricts foot pronation. This finding is supported by a decrease in anterior-posterior and medial-lateral excursion of center of plantar pressure (COP) trajectory during walking. The accumulation of this equipment decreases COP velocity and increases foot-ground contact time and stride time, indicating increased gait instability. An increase in the flexing resistance...
Effects of air bottle design on postural control of firefighters
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of firefighter's self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air bottle design and vision on postural control of firefighters. Twenty-four firefighters were tested using four 30-minute SCBA bottle designs that varied by mass and size. Postural sway measures were collected using a forceplate under two visual conditions (eyes open and closed) and two stance conditions (quiet and perturbed stances). For perturbed stance, a mild backward impulsive pull at the waist was applied. In addition to examining center of pressure postural sway measures...
Effects of foot placement, hand positioning, age and climbing biodynamics on ladder slip outcomes
Ladder falls frequently cause severe injuries; yet the factors that influence ladder slips/falls are not well understood. This study aimed to quantify (1) the effects of restricted foot placement, hand positioning, climbing direction and age on slip outcomes, and (2) differences in climbing styles leading to slips versus styles leading to non-slips. Thirty-two occupational ladder users from three age groups (18-24, 25-44 and 45-64 years) were unexpectedly slipped climbing a vertical ladder, while being assigned to different foot placement conditions (unrestricted vs. restricted toe clearance) and...
Effects of mental fatigue on biomechanics of slips
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of mental fatigue on biomechanics of slips. A total of 44 healthy young participants were evenly categorised into two groups: no fatigue and mental fatigue. Mental fatigue was induced by performing an AX-continuous performance test. The participants in both groups were instructed to walk on a linear walkway, and slips were induced unexpectedly during walking. We found that mental fatigue has adverse effects in all the three phases of slips. In particular, it leads to increased likelihood of slip initiation, poorer slip detection and a more...
Slip-related characterization of gait kinetics
Investigation of pervious concrete as a slip-resistant walking surface Slip-related falls are a significant health problem, particularly on icy walking surfaces. Pervious concrete, a material allowing rapid exfiltration of melted ice from the walking surface, may help reduce slipping risk. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare slipping characteristics of traditional and pervious concrete walking surfaces in icy conditions using kinetic biomechanical analyses. We hypothesized that pervious concrete, in comparison to traditional concrete, would be characterized by less severe ice-related...
Research to improve extension ladder angular positioning
A leading cause for extension ladder fall incidents is a slide-out event usually related to suboptimal ladder inclination. An improved ladder positioning method or procedure could reduce the risk of ladder stability failure and the related fall injury. The objective of the study was to comparatively evaluate the effectiveness of a multimodal angle indicator with other existing methods for extension ladder angular positioning. Twenty experienced and 20 inexperienced ladder users participated in the study. Four ladder positioning methods were tested in a controlled laboratory environment with 4.88...
Hand breakaway strength model-Effects of glove use and handle shapes on a person's hand strength to hold onto handles to prevent fall from elevation.
This study developed biomechanical models for hand breakaway strength that account for not only grip force but also hand-handle frictional coupling in generation of breakaway strength. Specifically, models for predicting breakaway strength for two commonly-used handle shapes (circular and rectangular handles) and varying coefficients of friction (COF) between the hand and handle were proposed. The models predict that (i) breakaway strength increases with increasing COF and (ii) a circular handle with a 50.8mm-diameter results in greater mean breakaway strength than a handle with a rectangular cross...

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