Understanding and Preventing Falls: An Ergonomics Approach

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Overview

Fall accidents are a major problem. In the workplace, falls are the largest category of accident leading to serious injury. In the UK, for example, estimates from the Health and Safety Executive suggest the cost of falls each year is in excess of 300 million to employers and 800 million to society. Away from work, as many as 2.5 million people each year may have serious enough injuries from falling in the home or during leisure activities to require a visit to hospital. While there have been reductions in numbers of accidents in other categories over recent decades, falls have remained at a consistent high level. Despite this, most falls are preventable. This book provides an authoritative guide to the nature and extent of falls and examines the causes from a combination of factors, such as the design and condition of the walking surface, cleaning and maintenance procedures, lighting, weather, and individual activity, fitness and vision. The book also considers different types of falls, namely slips and trips on the level, falls on stairs, falls from height, falls in the workplace, and falls during entry/egress from vehicles. This volume discusses methods for prevention, drawing on the latest research. The case is made for an ergonomics approach, involving a holistic view of the complex interaction between people and the environment. While more obvious aspects such as the nature of footwear and the walking surface are important, prevention of falls also requires attention to factors, such as risk-taking behavior and organizational influences, including job design and implementation and maintenance of effective housekeeping procedures.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415256360
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/7/2005
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION, R. Haslam and D. Stubbs
Background
Book Structure
References

WALKING ON THE LEVEL: FOOTWEAR AND THE WALKING SURFACE, R. Grönqvist
Introduction
Walking on the Level
Biomechanics of Slips, Trips, and Falls
Frictional Mechanisms in Walking
Basic Safety Criteria for Walking
Methods for Slipperiness Measurement
Implications for Falling Accidents and Guidance for Prevention
Conclusions
Acknowledgments
References

STEPS AND STAIRS, M. Roys
Introduction
The Extent of the Problem
Gait on Stairs
Inconsistent Step Dimensions
Inappropriate Step Sizes
Inadequate Handrails
Poor Step Visibility
Conclusions
References

ROLE OF VISION IN FALLS, P. Howarth
Introduction
Vision and Conspicuity
Visual Ability
Static and Dynamic Situations
Behaviour and the Environment
Interaction between the Visual and Vestibular Systems
Summary
References

AGEING AND FALLS, S. Lord, C. Sherrington, and H. Menz
Introduction
Epidemiology of Falls in Older People
Physical Risk Factors for Falls
Environmental Risk Factors
Interventions to Prevent Falls
Conclusion
References

EPIDEMIOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO INVESTIGATING CAUSES OF OCCUPATIONAL FALLS, T. Bentley and R. Haslam
Introduction
Epidemiological Approaches: Archival Data Analysis
Prospective Epidemiological Methods for Investigating STF
Methods and Techniques Complimentary to Descriptive Epidemiology
Conclusions
References

INVESTIGATION OF INDIVIDUAL FALL INCIDENTS, P. Lehane and D. Stubbs
Introduction
STF and Their Investigation
Manager and Fall Victim Perceptions
Social Psychology and Falls
Conclusions
References

THE ASSESSMENT AND PREVENTION OF PEDESTRIAN SLIP ACCIDENTS, S. Thorpe, P. Lemon, and S. Taylor
Introduction
The Assessment of Slipperiness
Contamination of Flooring
The Designer's Dilemma
Case Studies
Conclusions
References

OCCUPATIONAL FALLS OUTDOORS: UNDERSTANDING AND PREVENTING FALLS IN THE NEW ZEALAND LOGGING INDUSTRY, T. Bentley, R. Parker, and L. Ashby
Introduction
Epidemiological Analysis of Logging Injury Data
The Effect of Spiked-Soled Boots on Logger Safety, Productivity, and Workload
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
References

FALLS DURING ENTRY/EGRESS FROM VEHICLES, F. Fathallah
Introduction
Cost and Prevalence
Risks of Improper Entry/Egress
Impact Forces and Slip Potential during Vehicle Egress
Approaches to Preventing Vehicle-Related Falls
Summary
Acknowledgment
References

BEHAVIOUR AND THE SAFETY OF OLDER PEOPLE ON STAIRS, R. Haslam, D. Hill, J. Sloane, P. Howarth, and K.B. Wavell
Introduction
Preliminary Focus Groups
Home Interview Survey
Home Interview Survey Results
Discussion
Concluding Discussion
Acknowledgments
References

PREVENTING FALLS, R. Haslam and D. Stubbs
Overview
The Politics of Falls
Understanding Falls
Preventing Falls
Concluding Remarks

Index

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