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Sizing firefighters: method and implications.

Authors
Hsiao-H; Whitestone-J; Kau-T-Y; Whisler-R; Routley-JG; Wilbur-M
Source
Hum Factors 2014 Aug; 56(5):873-910
NIOSHTIC No.
20043661
Abstract
Objective: This article reports new anthropometric information of U.S. firefighters for fire apparatus design applications (Study 1) and presents a data method to assist in firefighter anthropometric data usage for research-to-practice propositions (Study 2). Background: Up-to-date anthropometric information of the U.S. firefighter population is needed for updating ergonomic and safety specifications for fire apparatus. Method: A stratified sampling plan of three-age by three-race/ethnicity combinations was used to collect anthropometric data of 863 male and 88 female firefighters across the U.S. regions; 71 anthropometric dimensions were measured (Study 1). Differences among original, weighted, and normality transformed data from Study 1 were compared to allowable observer errors (Study 2). Results: On average, male firefighters were 9.8 kg heavier and female firefighters were 29 mm taller than their counterparts in the general U.S. population. They also have larger upper-body builds than those of the general U.S. population. The data in weighted, unweighted, and normality transformed modes were compatible among each other with a few exceptions. Conclusion: The data obtained in this study provide the first available U.S. national firefighter anthropometric information for fire apparatus designs. The data represent the demographic characteristics of the current firefighter population and, except for a few dimensions, can be directly employed into fire apparatus design applications without major weighting or nonnormality concerns. Application: The up-to-date firefighter anthropometric data and data method will benefit the design of future fire apparatus and protective equipment, such as seats, body restraints, cabs, gloves, and bunker gear.
Keywords
Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting-equipment; Anthropometry; Equipment-design; Human-factors-engineering; Ergonomics; Body-distribution; Personal-protective-equipment; Men; Women; Racial-factors; Age-factors; Safety-equipment; Sampling; Demographic-characteristics; Author Keywords: firefighter; anthropometry; cab; protective equipment; body build; apparatus
Contact
Hongwei Hsiao, Protective Technology Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
CODEN
HUFAA6
Publication Date
20140801
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
hxh4@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2014
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
M012014
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0018-7208
NIOSH Division
DSR
Priority Area
Public Safety
Source Name
Human Factors
State
WV; OH; MI; VA; NY
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