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Slip and Fall Characterization of Floors

[+] Author Affiliations
Peter J. Poczynok, Ralph L. Barnett

Triodyne, Inc.

Paper No. IMECE2004-60195, pp. 45-54; 10 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis, Technology and Society, Engineering Business Management
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Division, Technology and Society Division, and Management Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4720-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


During ambulation, every maneuver causes the feet to impose a tangential loading at each contact with the floor. If the frictional resistance at the contact point is less than the associated tangential loading, slipping occurs and sometimes falling. There are five disciplines, some recently developed, that enable one to develop the general theory for predicting the number of walkers who will slip within a given time period on a statistically homogeneous and isotropic floor. These include force-plate studies, floor duty cycles, tribometry, extreme value theory of slipperiness, and floor reliability theory. When used with some additional bookkeeping notions, the general theory will be extended to real floors traversed by walkers with multiple ambulation styles and wearing a variety of footwear. In contrast, conventional slip and fall theory does not account for floor usage, different footwear and various ambulation styles, nor can it be used to determine the number of walkers who actually slip on a given floor.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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