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A novel algorithm for human fall detection by means of a tri-axial accelerometer, is described. A module constituted by the accelerometer and an on board processing unit was designed and realized. The system is conceived to be used in a multi-sensor network context for the remote monitoring of personnel working in very severe conditions (firefighters and civil protection operators). In the real application the module is thought to be integrated in the operator uniform collar. The algorithm is based on the detection of a critical trunk inclination in correspondence of an high rotational velocity. A Kalman filter was designed in order to separate the signal component due to gravity (i.e useful to extract the subject orientation) from the one due to the system acceleration. In comparison with the existing solutions the realized algorithm presents many advantages: no training is needed, low computational costs, fast time response and good performances also during critical activities (e.g jumping, running).