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Research Library

The HMinfo Research Library contains an in-depth collection of materials on home modifications and related subjects.

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Field study of stair descent

Ergonomics in Design

Author: Cohen, H. H.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2000


Falls on stairways continue to be a leading cause of accidental injury and death in the United States. Most of these falls occur when people lose their balance while descending stairs. In support of a litigation case for which I was retained as a forensic human factors expert witness, I conducted an empirical study of lateral and vertical stairway clearances. Results indicate that stairway users generally clear slight uplifts on steps and usually walk within an arm's reach of the handrail, so they can at least attempt to break a fall if a loss of balance occurs. In this article, I discuss the study and its human factors/ergonomics implications.

Further Details

Pages: 11-15
Volume: 8
Issue: 2
Accession Number: 4.6.03
Electronic Resource Number: 10.1177/106480460000800203
Keywords: safety improvement, health improvement, assessment
Reads: 224