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Groundbreaking "Slip Simulator" helps employees to stay on their feet

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - A group of Virginia Tech graduates is helping people slip and fall, all while staying safe.

Research shows one million Americans slip, trip or fall on the job each year. This accounts for 20 percent of job-related injuries and 15 percent of all accidental deaths.

That is why the team of graduates decided to build a simulator that creates slippery and hazardous conditions in a controlled environment.

Participants are strapped in and made to walk through the simulator while an instructor teaches them to avoid accidents.

The graduates formed a company called Industrial Biodynamics. One of the founders, John Hager, said there is nothing quite like this simulator on the market.

"We put somebody in a harness so they can safely slip, and let them experience how they normally walk, which may lead to slipping," Hager said. "Then we teach them how to walk properly, such that they don't slip anymore."

In just a few years, the product has gone international. Customers are reporting a 60 to 80 percent reduction in on-the-job falls.