Effects of thermal environment and chemical protective clothing on work tolerance, physiological responses, and subjective ratings.
White-MK; Hodous-TK; Vercruyssen-M
Ergonomics 1991 Apr; 34(4):445-457
A study was conducted to approximate workplace conditions and determine the physiological effects and subjective responses to exercise with two types of protective clothing and three thermal environments. Nine male subjects each performed a low intensity treadmill exercise under six experimental conditions. Subjects wore either light work clothing and a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) or a two piece chemical protective ensemble with SCBA (CHEM). Subjects were exposed to hot, neutral, or cool environments. The test under each condition extended for 120 minutes. The duration and number of work and rest periods within the testing situation varied according to the responses of each individual. The authors conclude that when ensembles similar to the CHEM are used in hot thermal environments, work rate should be reduced, work stints shortened and rest periods extended. The potential benefit of the use of portable heart rate or temperature monitors, or specific worker training in recognizing their safe physical limits should be explored.
NIOSH-Author; Personal-protective-equipment; Physiological-stress; Physical-exercise; Protective-clothing; Physical-stress; Physiological-testing; Temperature-effects; Hot-environments