Fall-related fatalities and injuries during climbing tasks represent a significant socioeconomic problem whether they occur in children, in the working age population, or in the elderly. The strength of the mechanical coupling between hand and handhold largely determines if a person can support their bodyweight or will lose grip of the handhold, fall and risk injury. It therefore seems prudent to quantify the maximum amount of external force that the coupling between the hand and handhold is capable of withstanding and to determine how handle design properties influence this.

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