Using High-Fidelity Physical Simulations of the Environment to Evaluate Risk Factors for Slips and Falls in the Mining Industry
The shoe-floor interface is a key element in preventing slips and falls. The design of footwear and the floor surface should be considered to ensure worker safety. Testing various floor surface materials and boots in a real-world setting would impose unnecessary risk to participants and limit the extent of testing possible. Hence, two examples of high-fidelity physical simulation—an inclined grated metal walkway and a grated metal stairway—were built to evaluate risk factors for slips and falls associated with various walkway materials and boots with metatarsal guards. This paper discusses details and findings of the two studies. Also discussed are the advantages and disadvantages of using physical simulations of the environments, including decreased risk for participants and large space requirements for the experiment. Findings of the research can help select appropriate floor surface materials and boots for the mining industry and inform the use of future high-fidelity physical simulations.
KeywordsPhysical simulation Inclined walkway Boots Slip Fall Mining
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