Impact attenuation of floor coverings in simulated falling accidents

Appl Ergon. 1990 Jun;21(2):107-14. doi: 10.1016/0003-6870(90)90132-h.


An experimental study was performed to assess to what extent the magnitudes of the impact forces generated in human falling accidents are affected by the nature of the floor covering. Peak decelerations were measured for impacts at the hip and at the hand, using a simple inverted-pendulum anthropomorphic fall simulator. Thirteen different floor coverings were tested, including five hard surfaces and four types of carpet, with and without underpad. It was found that floor coverings can differ significantly in terms of the peak impact force occurring during a fall. For hip impacts, the mean differences between the different floorings ranged up to 23%, with the padded carpets providing the best impact attenuation. In hand impacts, the impact forces were found to be relatively independent of the type of floor covering.