Study of Human Impact Tolerance Using Investigations and Simulations of Free-Falls
A study of free-fall accidents and resulting injuries was conducted to determine how useful these types of data could be in establishing human injury tolerance limits. “Tolerance” was examined primarily for children at two levels - reversible injury and threat to survival. The specific objectives were to investigate specific free-falls in sufficient depth to permit biomedical or mathematical reconstruction of the fall, simulate selected free-falls to estimate impact response, and compare predicted responses with observed injuries as a means of estimating human tolerance levels. From more than 2100 reported free-falls, 110 were investigated on-site. Seven head-first and three feet-first falls were then simulated using the MVMA 2-D Crash Victim Simulator. Newspaper reports of free-falls showed that males fell six times as often as females and most often while at work. Children fell from windows and balconies more often than from any other hazard.