Ergo Firefighter

Assessment of comfort and ergonomics of protective clothing for firefighters vs. normative requirements in various European countries

Leader:
CIOP-PIB – Magdalena Młynarczyk (m.mlynarczyk@ciop.pl)

Partners:
FIOH, INSST

Target groups:
Researchers, stakeholders, professionals in OSH, manufacturers

Background

As firefighting is considered to be one of the most dangerous professions, appropriate and comfortable protective clothing is essential. Working in a fire environment in unnatural conditions requires a highly specialised protective clothing. The firefighter personal protective clothing is designed to ensure protection against a number of factors, inter alia: damp, low and high temperatures, flame, and (at the basic level) the effects of hazardous chemicals, biological contamination and mechanical injury (Rogulski et al., 2016). Therefore,  appropriate materials must be used to provide such a thorough protection.

Aims

  • Assessment of subjective perception of thermal comfort, physiological strain and ergonomics among firefighters wearing protective clothing in various European countries, based on literature research
  • Analysis of potential smart wearable solutions to be applied in the protective clothing intended for firefighters in order to improve their safety and comfort
  • Analysis of the requirements that must be met by the firefighter protective clothing in different countries in Europe, inter alia, a summary of fabrics used for an optimal thermal performance of the clothing

Outcomes/expected results

A final report (also an interim report or short report in the participants’ national languages) is planned. Additionally, a brochure (brief summary) shall be distributed among manufacturers, firefighters and policy makers. Futhermore, a publication in high impact factor journals will be made.

As a result, knowledge will be increased of the problem of thermal discomfort perception among firefighters during rescue operations and the awareness of the influence of the fabric and materials used in the firefighter protective clothing on its ergonomics and thermal comfort qualities. The project will also propose the alignment of firefighter protective clothing requirements across Europe.

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