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Ratings of Perceived Loss of Balance: A potential Safety Monitoring technique for Workers Walking/Working on Sloped Surfaces

Journal of Safety, Health and Environmental Research

Author: Choi, S. D.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2005


Falls from roofs account for the most work related fall injuries, and they also represent more than one-fifth of all occupational fatal falls (Bureau of Labor Statistics). In the fatality investigation reports or worker compensation descriptions, one of the most commonly mentioned initial reasons for falls was loss of balance. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to develop ratings of perceived loss of balance (PLB) to detect changes in slope, and (2) to determine the relationships between the developed PLB and objective measures of postural sway. Twelve healthy male volunteers (age: 24.8 ± 3.4) participated in this study. The simulated roof-shingling task was performed at the slopes 18°, 26°, and 34° respectively. The obtained ratings of perceived loss of balance were compared with objective measurements determined by a strain gauge type force platform. Results from this study revealed that the PLB scale was sensitive enough to detect changes in slopes (i.e., steep roofs). The findings also indicate that a strong correlation exists between the PLB scale and postural instability. The perceived loss of balance scale is a very reliable indirect measure of postural instability and is easy to use. In summary, the PLB scale may be used as a potential safety monitoring technique.

Further Details

Full Title: Journal of Safety, Health and Environmental Research
Pages: 1-26
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Section: 1
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 12/06/2013 Hard copy discarded 12/06/2013
Keywords: Roofing industry, construction safety, sloped surface, postural stability, perceived loss of balanace
Reads: 107