ASTM WK27291

    New Practice for Ergonomic Performance Evaluation of First Responders Protective Ensembles

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    Developed by Subcommittee: F23.60 | Committee F23 | Contact Staff Manager



    WK27291

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice specifies the test equipment and procedures for ergonomic impact of subjects wearing a protective clothing ensemble. 1.2 This practice covers the ergonomic measurements of range of motion, ability to complete tasks, dexterity, subjective perceptions, and heart rate responses to assess the ergonomic impact of subjects wearing a protective clothing ensemble. 1.3 This practice permits the evaluation of protective clothing that imposes a functional restriction (mobility restriction, comfort) because of factors such as: (1) the ensemble is bulky or has too many layers of materials,(2) the ensemble has rigid materials, and (3) the weight of the ensemble is substantial (firefighter turnout gear, explosive ordnance bomb suit). 1.4 To increase safety during ergonomic testing, this dynamic test requires the use of human participants who meet specific health and physical fitness requirements. 1.5 This practice does not attempt to determine important clothing characteristics, such as thermal insulation and evaporative resistance of the protective clothing ensemble. Test Methods F1291 and F2370 can be used for these clothing measurements. 1.6 The values stated in this standard shall be SI units. 1.7 It is the responsibility of the test laboratory to obtain the necessary and appropriate approval(s) required by their institution for conducting tests using human participants. 1.8 This standard does not purport to address all the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user, and the testing institution, to consult and establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use of this standard.

    Protective ensembles such as firefighter turnout gear, HAZMAT suits, and so forth can impose an ergonomic impact on the wearer. This impact can be negative in nature as in restriction of the wearer, but the ensemble could also provide a positive impact such as allowing the wearer to crawl faster because of knee protection. These negative restrictions can take the form of loss of range of motion and functional mobility wearing the ensemble. The possible increased restrictions of use of protective ensembles can result in injuries to the musculoskeletal system, decreased performance, and decreased comfort. The following ergonomic test protocol is being proposed to determine the ergonomic impact to the wearer by the protective ensemble. The protocol has been designed to allow comparisons of the ergonomic performance between ensembles of the same class (firefighter turnout gear) and from different classes (firefighter ensemble versus HAZMAT suit). Unfortunately, no standard ergonomic test protocol has been established to test protective ensembles as a whole system in the civilian sector. Subcommittee F23.60 should prepare an ergonomic test protocol to standardize testing of the ergonomic impact of personal protective ensembles and encourage the use of this practices by ensemble manufacturers, government laboratories, and military test facilities. This ergonomic test protocol has potential utility in allowing comparison of the ergonomic performance by a variety of protective ensembles. The protocol will allow manufacturers to test and develop further their protective ensembles and allow the user community to select ensembles that meet their needs while minimizing the ensemble impact on the user. The protocol could also be used by consensus standards organizations in the development of ergonomics test criteria for ensemble certification.


    Keywords

    ergonomic performance; protective ensembles; range of motion; subjective perceptions; goniometry; dexterity; functional mobility; heat stress

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:
    01-25-2010

    Technical Contact:
    Angie Shepherd

    Item:
    003

    Ballot:
    F23 (14-02)

    Status:
    Negative Votes Need Resolution