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The prevention of slipping accidents: a review and discussion of work related to the methodology of measuring slip resistance

  • Leclercq, Sylvie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1999
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The recommendations made after the analysis of accidents following an incident of slipping often include the use of anti-slip footwear and/or the installation of an anti-slip floor covering. Such recommendations make it necessary to study biomechanical and tribologic phenomena that occur during slipping, in particular in order to develop criteria for the evaluation of the slip resistance of footwear and floor surfaces. Consequently, research which deals with the prevention of slipping is more or less directly related to the methodology of measuring slip resistance, and can have many objectives, including:- the study of the conditions or accident-related factors encountered at the time of slipping in an industrial context;- the analysis of the dynamic of slipping at the interface between a slippery floor and the foot;- the analysis of tribologic phenomena that occur at this interface;- the choice of a relevant criterion to assess the slip resistance; or- the development of a test bench.The results of these studies can be used to express preventative recommendations or to support/discuss standardisation projects on the measurement of the slip resistance of protective shoes or floor coverings. Globally speaking, these studies have contributed to a better understanding of the complexity of slips and of their prevention, and it is for this reason that they are reviewed in the current paper. Special emphasis will be placed on the differences observed between the different approaches rather than on the multitude of (occasionally contradictory) results obtained from them. This literature review has allowed us to partially explain the reasons that slow down progress in harmonising methods for the measurement of slip resistance, and also to explain the more recent studies on perturbed locomotion or posture. These studies have been undertaken on the strategies used to confront the risk of falling or to cope with the loss of balance.

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