A test battery related to ergonomics of protective clothing
journal contributionposted on 13.06.2013, 10:09 by George HavenithGeorge Havenith, Ronald Heus
Specialised protective clothing, such as that worn by firefighters, is usually tested only to standards which give requirements for the materials used (e.g. EN469). However, this testing often neglects the effect the manufacturing process of the garment has on the material properties, the effects of clothing design, sizing and fit, as well as the interaction of the clothing with other components of the standard gear for the profession. Such effects can only be tested by looking at the protective gear as a whole. This paper deals with methods to do additional testing on protective garments with firefighter clothing as example. In other words, methods which go beyond EN469. Human subject tests for physiological load, heat protection, ergonomic design, loss of performance, rain/moisture protection and conspicuity/visibility of the clothing are described and proposed for evaluation of protective clothing in general and for further development of standards on firefighters’ clothing.