Furniture tipping accidents: Redesign for prevention
Interior Design and Furnishings
A large public service organization was concerned with protection of its customers against hazards associated with furniture tipping in public use concourses. Because no injury experience was available for analysis, hazard patterns for tipping accidents were developed from an observational study of public interaction with the furniture. For each hazard pattern, anthropometric models were used to find the probability of the furniture being safe from tipping, for different age and gender combinations. A safety criterion was developed from this modeling, and used to change the weights of some furniture items to resist tipping. These modifications have now been implemented and are in widespread use. Implications for broader application of these models to the development of valid tipping standards for furniture are discussed.