Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Fatal and nonfatal falls in the construction domain remain a significant issue in today’s workforce. The roofing industry in particular, annually ranks amongst the highest in all industries. Exposure to an inclined surface, such as an inclined roof surface, has been reported to have adverse effects on postural stability. The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate the intra-individual differences in stability parameters on both inclined and level surfaces. Postural Stability (PS) and Limit of Stability (LOS) were assessed in seven healthy subjects (aged 25-35 years) on inclined and level surfaces using embedded force plates and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). Four 90-second trials were collected on the inclined surface in distinctive positions: (1) Toes raised 20° above heel; (2) Heels raised 20° above toes (3); Transverse direction with dominant foot inverted at a lower height; (4) Transverse direction with non-dominant foot inverted at a lower height. Limit of Stability was evaluated by the two measurement devices in all four directions and margin of safety was quantified for each individual on both surfaces. The results reveal significant differences in postural stability between the flat surface condition and the inclined surface condition when subject was positioned perpendicular to the surface slope with one foot descended below the other; specifically, a significant increase was identified when visual support was interrupted. The findings lend support to the literature and will assist in future research regarding early detection of postural imbalance and preventative measures to reduce fall risks in professions where workers are consistently exposed to inclined surfaces.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of a conference article accepted for publication in Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, volume 49, in 2013.


Copyright © (2013) International Society of Automation. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the International Society of Automation.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.