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Minerals 2011, 1(1), 109-121; doi:10.3390/min1010109

Gait Characteristics Associated with Trip-Induced Falls on Level and Sloped Irregular Surfaces

* ,
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, 50 South Central Campus Dr. RM 2110, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 August 2011 / Revised: 30 September 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 23 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety & Health in Mining)
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Same level falls continue to contribute to an alarming number of slip/trip/fall injuries in the mining workforce. The objective of this study was to investigate how walking on different surface types and transverse slopes influences gait parameters that may be associated with a trip event. Gait analysis was performed for ten subjects on two orientations (level and sloped) on smooth, hard surface (control) and irregular (gravel, larger rocks) surfaces. Walking on irregular surfaces significantly increased toe clearance compared to walking on the smooth surface. There was a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in cadence (steps/min), stride length (m), and speed (m/s) from control to gravel to larger rocks. Significant changes in external rotation and increased knee flexion while walking on irregular surfaces were observed. Toe and heel clearance requirements increased on irregular surfaces, which may provide an explanation for trip-induced falls; however, the gait alterations observed in the experienced workers used as subjects would likely improve stability and recovery from a trip.
Keywords: irregular surface gait; foot clearance; slope; balance irregular surface gait; foot clearance; slope; balance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Merryweather, A.; Yoo, B.; Bloswick, D. Gait Characteristics Associated with Trip-Induced Falls on Level and Sloped Irregular Surfaces. Minerals 2011, 1, 109-121.

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