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Appl Ergon. 1991 Apr;22(2):91-100.

Restriction to movement in fire-fighter protective clothing: evaluation of alternative sleeves and liners.

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  • Dept of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design, 221 Justin Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-1405, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate alternative designs and liner configurations in fire-fighter protective clothing, or 'turnout gear', to determine the restriction to wearer movement imposed by each. The independent variables were: (1) two alternative sleeve designs (i e, a 'traditional' sleeve design and a prototype sleeve design, featuring additional gusset width and altered armseye position) plus a station uniform worm without any protective clothing and/or equipment; (2) three liner configuration variations (i e, a 'traditional' liner configuration, incorporation of one additional liner, and incorporation of two additional liners); and (3) wearing or not wearing an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). The dependent variables for this study were: (1) range of movement in four upper body joints; and (2) a semantic differential scale to evaluate wearers' subjective evaluation of each protective ensemble. Nine male subjects were used. For each of the four joint movements measured (i e, shoulder flexion/extension, shoulder adduction/abduction, shoulder rotation, elbow flexion/extension), a Leighton Flexometer was strapped to the subject at the appropriate body location. The subject was instructed to take the body position indicated. A reading was taken, then the subject was asked to move the body segment to the fullest extent possible in the direction indicated by the researcher. A second reading (representing range of movement) was taken. This procedure was repeated three times for each movement. After the test, subjects were instructed to fill out a semantic differential scale which described their subjective evaluations of the clothing/ equipment configuration. Results showed greater wearer range of movement in the elbow area for the prototype sleeve design over the more traditional sleeve design. Incorporation of additional liners resulted in higher wearer acceptability for the turnout coats than when these liners were not used. As expected, use of an SCBA was extremely restrictive to mobility, and made the protective ensemble less acceptable to wearers.

PMID:
15676803
[PubMed]
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