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Fall prevention methodology through the generation of 3rd Virtual Environments

Godfrey, R., Mutis, I. and Shiratuddin, M.F. (2008) Fall prevention methodology through the generation of 3rd Virtual Environments. In: 18th Annual Construction Safety Conference and Expo, 12 - 14 February, Rosemount, USA

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In 2006 the construction industry accounted for 1,226 fatal occupational injuries. With nearly 21% of all occupational work related fatalities for each of the years between 2001 and 2006, the construction industry has consistently produced the most fatal work injuries than any other industry sector. As construction workers displayed the highest risk for fatal workplace falls during the years 1992-2006, these falls continue to be a leading cause of fatality in the industry. This research explores new strategies to mitigate construction work place injury and fatality through the identification of hazardous situations through the use of real-time Virtual Environment (VE) technologies. This investigation focuses on the identification of relevant conditions necessary to assess fall related hazards, integrative design of fall protection systems and the effective implementation of fall prevention management protocols.

The utilization of VE allows for the generation of 3D visual and anthropometric measurements of workers in real-time. A motion capture suit worn by human subjects enables the capturing and representation of the construction worker’s actual movement in the VE. Subsequently, new worker-environment profiles can be generated with respect to fall-related hazards by employing different scenarios in the VE. Human subjects will be exposed in these scenarios to generate visual and numerical motion data. By following this systematic process, this investigation proposes a methodology for data analysis and fall prevention strategies which can be used by safety experts to indentify potentially hazardous conditions within particular scenarios.

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