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Objectives: Slip and fall accidents in the workplace are one of the top causes of work related fatalities and injuries. Previous studies have indicated that fall risk was related to postural and dynamic stability. However, the usage of this theoretical relationship was limited by laboratory based measuring instruments. The current study proposed a new method for stability assessment by use of inertial measurement units (IMUs).

Methods: Accelerations at different body parts were recorded by the IMUs. Postural and local dynamic stability was assessed from these measures and compared with that computed from the traditional method. Results: The results demonstrated: 1) significant differences between fall prone and healthy groups in IMU assessed dynamic stability; and 2) better power of discrimination with multi stability index assessed by IMUs.

Conclusion: The findings can be utilized in the design of a portable screening or monitoring tool for fall risk assessment in various industrial settings.


The copy of record is available from the publisher at Copyright © 2012 by Safety and Health at Work (SH@W) This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.