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Study of factors associated with risk of work related stairway falls

Study of factors associated with risk of work related stairway falls

Journal of Safety Research 16(4): 183-196

This report describes a study of stairway risk factors based on video tape recordings of workers using 31 flights of stairs selected from among the industries with the highest frequency and severity rates for stair-related injuries. The video tapes were reviewed to identify all incidents, i.e., falls, trips, slips, missteps, and moments of temporary instability. The characteristics of the 98 stair users who were involved in an incident were compared to the characteristics of a matched group of stair users who did not have incidents. The factors that best discriminated between the incident group and the nonincident group were (a) The incident group tended to be those whose movement was impeded by others and who were older: and (b) The nonincident group tended to be those who were wearing glasses and those who were very large or heavy individuals. The influence of stairway physical features on the risk of injury was examined using correlation analysis. The measure of risk was the incidence rate (observed incidents per number of observed uses) for each flight as well as for each trend. Among the several variables significantly correlated with higher incidence rate are: (a) higher effective riser height and less effective tread depth; the safest stairs have an effective riser height not greater than 7 in. (18 cm) and an effective tread depth no less than 11 in. (27 cm); and (b) for descent only (92% of the injuries), the size of the nosing projection; it appears that nosing projections that exceed 11/16 in. (1.8 cm) are associated with higher incidence rates.

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Accession: 006525537

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1016/0022-4375(85)90005-2

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