Evaluating the Correct Usage, Comfort and Fit of Personal Protective Equipment in Construction Work
Paper i proceeding, 2024

Several factors contribute to the use, non-use, or inadequate use of personal protective

equipment (PPE) in construction work. This study aimed to analyse correct usage

of various PPE, such as helmet, ear protectors, goggles, respiratory mask, gloves, protective

clothing, and a safety harness. Correct usage was assessed as guessability,

which refers to human perceptions of how to don, adjust, use, and doff the equipment

as intended. First an analytical evaluation was conducted using ECW (enhanced

cognitive walkthrough) and PUEA (predictive use error analysis) to identify usability

problems and use errors during handling. Then usability tests were performed with

13 persons of different heights and body constitutions. Observations, the think-aloud

method, short interviews, and subjective estimations were employed. The analytical

evaluation revealed most minor usability problems and use errors resulting in physical

discomfort. Some safety harness-related errors emerged, particularly for novices,

potentially leading to severe incidents. The usability tests demonstrated physical as

well as functional discomfort when using a combination of PPE, intensifying over time.

The combination of goggles and face mask caused pressure, chafing, heat rash and

limited vision. The helmet, combined with goggles and ear protectors, did not fit

well, and caused pressure. The guessability for donning and wearing the combination

of PPE was moderate, requiring time for proper adjustment. The guessability of

the safety harness was poor, lacking design cues for donning, adjusting, and positioning

on skeletal bones. Physical discomfort arose when straps were overly tightened.

Not all straps could be adjusted for some body constitutions, compromising safety. In

conclusion, using several types of PPE together may lead to physical and functional

discomfort and pain over time, potentially resulting in misuse, non-use, or reduced

performance. The findings of this study can serve as a basis for redesigning PPE,

particularly for scenarios involving combined usage.

Personal protective equipment



Usability tests



Jonas Borell

Lunds tekniska högskola

Anna-Lisa Osvalder

Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Design & Human Factors

Bijan Aryana

Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Design & Human Factors

AHFE Open Access

Vol. Vol 129 67-74 1004812

AHFE (2024) International Conference, USA
Nice, France,

Personlig skyddsutrustning - Strategier och rekommendationer för ökad användning genom anpassning till användare

AFA Försäkring (Dnr190290), 2020-04-01 -- 2022-03-31.


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi


Hälsa och teknik



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