Effects of fire fighter protective ensembles on mobility and performance.
Coca-A; Williams-WJ; Roberge-RJ; Powell-JB
Appl Ergon 2010 Jul; 41(4):636-641
Many studies have shown that fire fighter turnout gear and equipment may restrict mobility. The restriction of movement is usually due to a decrease in range of motion (ROM). It is important to know how much the decrease in ROM affects performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of fire fighter protective ensembles on mobility and performance by measuring static and dynamic range of motion (ROM) and job-related tasks. Eight healthy adults (5 males, 3 females), aged 20-40 years, participated in this study. The study consisted of measuring a battery of motions and fire fighter specific tasks while wearing a standard fire fighter ensemble (SE) or regular light clothing (baseline or BL). Several BL ROM tests were significantly (p < 0.05) different from the SE test, including a decrease in shoulder flexion, cervical rotation and flexion, trunk lateral flexion, and stand and reach. There was a significant decrease in time from SE to baseline performing the one-arm search task and object lift. These overall findings support the need for a comprehensive ergonomic evaluation of protective clothing systems to ascertain human factors issues. The development of a Standard Ergonomics Test Practice for further use in laboratories that conduct personal protective systems evaluations using human test subjects is recommended.
Age-factors; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Fire-fighting-equipment; Injury-prevention; Occupational health; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Safety; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices;
Author Keywords: Protective clothing; ROM; Fire fighters
Aitor Coca, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Applied Ergonomics. Special Section - The First International Symposium on Visually Induced Motion Sickness, Fatigue, and Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures (VIMS2007)