The Effects of Wearing Protective Chemical Warfare Combat Clothing on Human Performance
Final rept. Sep 1989-Aug 1991
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
Pagination or Media Count:
U.S. Department of Defense studies to measure performance decrements associated with wearing chemical warfare CW protective combat clothing indicate that heat stress produced seriously degraded human performance. Even when heat stress is not a significant factor, performance of many combat, combat support, and combat service support tasks is degraded. In most field studies, many crews of combat units became operationally ineffective due to voluntary withdrawal of individual crew members. Many combined arms, field studies, and laboratory studies indicate that when CW-protective combat clothing is worn performance is seriously degraded for 1 the detection of targets, engagement time, accuracy of fire, and 2 manual dexterity tasks and that 3 a variety of psychological effects are created. Further, the degree of performance degradation varied with the tasks performed. Training in CW-protective combat clothing permits learning to modify procedures and consequently reduce negative effects, provided heat stress is not a significant factor. A growing body of evidence indicates there is inadequate training in the use of CW-protective combat clothing. A critical need exists for more and better training of skills needed under CW conditions.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems