Many workplace injuries and fatalities are related to falls from ladders. When climbers are fatigued, they are much more susceptible to making mistakes while high in the air. Michigan researchers are leading an effort to determine whether or not the distance between ladder rungs is the reason for many workplace falls. After developing a one of a kind “Ladder Mill” they can now begin to determine if the traditional standard for rung lengths is too long and potentially the cause for workplace falls.
ABOUT THE PROFESSOR:
Thomas J. Armstrong is a Professor in the Departments of Industrial and Operations Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He also is the former Director of the University of Michigan Center for Ergonomics. Dr. Armstrong teaches courses for undergraduate and graduate engineers in work measurement and design, engineering anthropometry and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. His current research includes 1) study of the relationship between repetitive work and musculoskeletal disorders; 2) models of hand structures and movements for study of handwork; 3) coupling between the human hand and objects that support the body or that are supported by the hand; 4) surgical procedures, training and health outcomes; and 5) software for analysis of manual work.
Charles Woolley is a senior research lab specialist and lecturer with the University of Michigan Center for Ergonomics. His research interests include: instrumentation for worker and workplace monitoring, energy expenditure prediction and whole body fatigue, and occupational biomechanics and strength prediction.