Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

Validity and reliability of a wearable insole pressure system for measuring gait parameters to identify safety hazards in construction

Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Heng Li, JoonOh Seo, Shahnawaz Anwer and Sitsofe Kwame Yevu , Zezhou Wu

Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom


Gait parameters, Non-fatal fall injuries, Safety hazards, Wearable inertial measurement unit, Wearable insole pressure system


Purpose: Construction workers are frequently exposed to safety hazards on sites. Wearable sensing systems (e.g. wearable inertial measurement units (WIMUs), wearable insole pressure system (WIPS)) have been used to collect workers' gait patterns for distinguishing safety hazards. However, the performance of measuring WIPS-based gait parameters for identifying safety hazards as compared to a reference system (i.e. WIMUs) has not been studied. Therefore, this study examined the validity and reliability of measuring WIPS-based gait parameters as compared to WIMU-based gait parameters for distinguishing safety hazards in construction. Design/methodology/approach: Five fall-risk events were conducted in a laboratory setting, and the performance of the proposed approach was assessed by calculating the mean difference (MD), mean absolute error (MAE), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), root mean square error (RMSE) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of five gait parameters. Findings: Comparable results of MD, MAE, MAPE and RMSE were found between WIPS-based gait parameters and the reference system. Furthermore, all measured gait parameters had validity (ICC = 0.751) and test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.910) closer to 1, indicating a good performance of measuring WIPS-based gait parameters for distinguishing safety hazards.

Moticon's Summary

This study focuses on the construction industry's high risk of nonfatal fall injuries and explores wearable insole pressure systems (WIPS) versus wearable inertial measurement units (WIMUs) for identifying safety hazards. Traditional safety measures like manual inspections and vision-based techniques are limited by bias and environmental constraints. Moticon sensor insoles were used as WIMUs for the comparison. This study recruited five participants to test WIPS and WIMUs under controlled fall-risk scenarios. Results showed WIPS-based gait parameters (stride time, stride length, swing time) were comparable to WIMUs in detecting safety hazards, with significant differences noted between normal and hazardous gait patterns. Both systems demonstrated high validity and reliability, supporting WIPS as a nonintrusive, effective tool for construction safety.

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