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Journal Article

Citation

Van den Oord MH, Steinman Y, Sluiter JK, Frings-Dresen MH. Appl. Ergon. 2012; 43(5): 958-964.

Affiliation

Academic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Center for Man in Aviation, The Royal Netherlands Air Force, P.O. Box 22, 3769 ZG Soesterberg, The Netherlands.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2012, Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.apergo.2012.01.004

PMID

22356840

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to improve the helmet fit of military helicopter aircrew members and evaluate its effect on the experienced helmet stability (helmet gliding), neck load, neck pain, hot spots (pressure points), irritation/distraction, and overall helmet comfort during night flights. A within-subject design was used over a three-month period that consisted of two consecutive interventions of optimising the fit of the aircrew's helmets: 1) a new helmet fit using a renewed protocol and 2) replacement of a thermoplastic inner liner with a viscoelastic foam inner liner. A total of 18 pilots and loadmasters rated the outcome measures using the Visual Analogue Scales immediately after their night flights, for three night flights in total per measurement period. The optimised helmet fit resulted in a significant decrease in the experienced helmet gliding, neck load and pressure points, a decrease trend in the experienced neck pain and irritation/distraction, and a significant increase in the experienced overall helmet comfort during flight. These results demonstrate the importance of achieving an optimised helmet fit for military helicopter aircrew and that an optimised helmet fit might have implications for both health and safety concerns.


Language: en

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