Slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of injury to firefighters with many injuries occurring while traversing stairs, possibly exaggerated by acute fatigue from firefighting activities and/or asymmetric load carriage. This study examined the effects that fatigue, induced by simulated firefighting activities, and hose load carriage have on foot clearance while traversing stairs. Landing and passing foot clearances for each stair during ascent and descent of a short staircase were investigated. Clearances decreased significantly (. p < 0.05) post-exercise for nine of 12 ascent parameters and increased for two of eight descent parameters. Load carriage resulted in significantly decreased (. p < 0.05) clearance over three ascent parameters, and one increase during descent. Decreased clearances during ascent caused by fatigue or load carriage may result in an increased trip risk. Increased clearances during descent may suggest use of a compensation strategy to ensure stair clearance or an increased risk of over-stepping during descent.
- Foot clearance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Engineering (miscellaneous)