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Duty belt or load-bearing vest? Discomfort and pressure distribution for police driving standard fleet vehicles

Journal article
Authors L. B. Larsen
N. Ramstrand
Roy Tranberg
Published in Applied Ergonomics
Volume 80
Pages 146-151
ISSN 0003-6870
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics
Pages 146-151
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2019.05...
Keywords Driving, Law enforcement, Lower back, Occupational health, Protective equipment, driver sitting comfort, officers, prediction, posture, field, pain, Engineering, Psychology
Subject categories Medical Ergonomics, Work sciences and ergonomics

Abstract

Police working in active duty have a high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, with lower back pain being the most frequently reported. As a part of uniform regulations, Swedish police are mandated to wear body armour and duty belts at all times during work. This study aimed to investigate the effect of different load carriage designs on invehicle sitting pressure and self-rated discomfort among police. Results showed less discomfort when wearing the alternate load carriage system incorporating a load-bearing vest and thigh holster compared to the standard load carriage system consisting of a duty belt. Pressures in the lower back were reduced when wearing the load-bearing vest whereas pressures in the upper back region increased. Relocating appointments away from the waist has the potential to improve sitting positions and the ergonomic situation for police when driving fleet vehicles.

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