Soldiers that work in the field of explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) wear cumbersome personal protection equipment (PPE) that may cause pain and/or discomfort. This study evaluated the EOD suit that is commonly used by the U.S. military and law enforcement for shoulder discomfort and leg mobility restriction. Thirty-four college aged adults of varying athletic abilities were recruited to complete a test course and walk on a treadmill for 2 minutes while wearing the EOD 8. Shoulder and leg contact pressure between the human body and the EOD 8 were measured using pressure pads. Demographic information was collected before testing via a survey and qualitative observations were collected at the end of testing with a questionnaire. After each test course repetition, participants ranked their perceived exertion with the Borg scale. Overall, the time it took participants to complete the test course increased by 17% and participants experienced a 60% increase in perceived exertion while wearing the EOD 8. The region that experienced the most pain and discomfort was the top of the shoulders (59%) and there was a negative correlation (r = −0.5, p < 0.05) when observing the impact of body mass index (BMI) on max shoulder pressure (kPa). The groin protector was found to restrict hip rotation when the subject squatted to pick up an object, producing a pressure 30-times higher than without the EOD 8. These results indicate that an ergonomic evaluation method for EOD suits can be developed with the combination of user feedback and strategically placed pressure sensors.
|Commitee:||Gu, Yan, Wu, Yi-Ning, Kao, Pei-Chun|
|School:||University of Massachusetts Lowell|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Occupational safety, Mechanical engineering|
|Keywords:||Classification, Ergonomics, Interface loads, Military protective equipment, Monitoring, Pressure sensing|
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