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Many jobs involve contact with dangerous materials or hazardous environments requiring workers to wear various types of protective clothing and equipment. The fit of these items can directly affect both the worker's performance and the degree of protection provided and is, therefore, of paramount concern. Often, a stringent conformity to the body is required to afford the necessary physiologic protection and minimize degradation of performance. Traditional sizing practices are proving inadequate for protective wear in many instances; however, anthropometric analysis can be a very effective means of resolving the sizing and design problems. An anthropometric sizing analysis is based on the concept of dividing the population into subgroups of individuals who are similar for one or two relevant body size dimensions, then analyzing the remaining anthropometric data for each subgroup to arrive at appropriate dimensional design values. In this paper, the development and use of anthropometric programs for personal protective clothing and equipment is discussed.
anthropometry, protective equipment, clothing, sizing, body size, protective clothing
Research physical anthropologist, U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH