Stair falls on construction sites are leading causes of fatal injuries, and the dangers for workers are greater because they usually carry heavy loads. Nevertheless, there are very few studies related to stair falls among construction workers. The purpose of this study was to detect near fall incidence during stair descent and analyze the changes in weight bearing and center of pressure. A total of 10 healthy males participated in this study. Three experimental conditions were set up to analyze stair falls: natural descent (E1), weighted descent (E2), and near fall-simulated descent (E3). While walking down the stairs, subjects wore a three-axis accelerometer sensor attached to a Smart Helmet and a pair of textile pressure sensors (insole) placed inside Smart Shoes. The collected data were analyzed for: (1) whole body balance, (2) plantar pressure distribution, (3) head tilt pattern, and (4) conformity between the helmet and insole sensors. The results showed that our proposed smart helmet and smart shoes have relatively good performance in terms of classifying the weight-shifting patterns in the head and the feet during stair descent. The results of this study may be helpful in detecting near falls of workers on construction sites.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited