Int J Ind Ergon. 2022 Jan;87:10.1016/j.ergon.2021.103254. doi: 10.1016/j.ergon.2021.103254.
Falls from residential roofs account for 80% of roofing industry fatalities. Furthermore, roofing work represents 44.7% of work in residual construction specialty trades and residential roofers count for 2.1% of overall workers in construction, with an anticipated growth in roofers of 14.9% by 2024. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the alterations in spatiotemporal gait parameters while traversing along a 6/12 pitched residential roof segment. Eighteen of the nineteen calculated spatiotemporal variables were statistically, significantly changed by walking across a 6/12 pitched simulated residential roof. The study clearly demonstrates that spatiotemporal gait variables increase and decrease while traversing across a residential roof. The changes in spatiotemporal parameters might suggest alterations to a person’s balance system resulting in an increased risk of falling. The knowledge generated in the current study will be relevant to the residential roofing industry when it can be used in educational materials to increase awareness of how a roofer’s altered gait while working on a pitched roof may increase their falling risk.