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Journal Article


MacDonald CV, Brooks CJ, Kozey JW, Habib A. Appl. Ergon. 2011; 42(2): 314-320.


Survival Systems Ltd. 50 Mount Hope Avenue, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4K9, Canada; School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University, 6230 South Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5, Canada.


(Copyright © 2011, Elsevier Publishing)






Canada is considering the development of a new standard for infant/child life jackets. Eight currently available (approved and non-approved) infant/child life jackets were procured for evaluation. Fifty-six participants were chosen as a sample of convenience from the general public for testing. The life jackets were divided into two groups of four, which were donned on a soft infant manikin procured from the Red Cross. In 224 attempts at donning, only 43 (19%) attempts resulted in the life jacket being donned correctly in less than 1 min. Only one life jacket came close to a good design and passed the life jacket standard for donning time and accuracy. Failure rates were observed across all the participants irrespective of age, gender, experience with children and experience with recreational marine equipment. Accuracy and speed of donning the life jacket were hampered as the number of donning sub-tasks increased. It was concluded that it is possible to design a life jacket that can be donned correctly in under 1 min. The life jacket must be of simple, intuitive design and fall naturally into the anatomical shape of the child. A minimum number of ties, zips and clips should be used in the design, and if such connectors are used they should be color coded or of different shapes and sizes to avoid confusion.

Language: en


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