Bruce Bradtmiller, PhD
Title: Human Dimensional Variability: A Safety Problem and Opportunity
Summary: We often think of anthropometry in the realm of personal comfort, fit of clothing and adjustments on the power seats in our automobiles. But human variation is very much a safety problem in the workplace. Protective equipment needs to fit a wide – and widening – range of human body size and shape, and the workplaces themselves must accommodate a diverse workforce. In this overview of anthropometry in the context of safety, we will consider some previous work in the area of fall protection, respiratory protection and workspace layout. We will also see what can be learned from the US military in trying to protect very different populations. The talk will conclude with a discussion of changing body size and shape in the US and abroad.
Kurt E. Beschorner PhD
Associate Professor, Bioengineering Department
University of Pittsburgh
Title: From Research to Design: Footwear and Ladder Design for Preventing Falling Accidents
Summary: Falling accidents are among the leading causes of occupational injuries. Between 2002 and 2015, the number of injurious falls to working aged adults has increased by 29%. Design solutions that can be integrated into the workplace are urgently needed to reverse these trends. Our research group has utilized rigorous methods in biomechanics and tribology (the study of friction) to understand the causes of falling accidents. Importantly, this research has also focused on modifiable risk factors and on solutions that can be translated to the workplace. These efforts have led to recommendations for assessing tread on work shoes, determining when worn shoes should be replaced, and assessing the design of ladders for safety. It is expected that these solutions will reduce falling accidents in order to improve worker safety and reduce employer costs.