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Manual performance in cold conditions while wearing NBC clothing.
Ergonomics. 1998 Oct; 41(10):1421-32.E

Abstract

Manual performance while wearing a whole body covering NBC garment was studied at -10 degrees C. Hands were protected by thin cotton gloves, which were covered with rubber gloves. The test subjects were exposed for 40 min in one of the four conditions: standing at -10 degrees C, standing for 10 min followed by walking (5 km/h) for 30 min on a treadmill, standing while holding a solid steel bar (see section 2.2), or standing at 20 degrees C. Six different manual tasks were performed after each 40-min exposure. All tests were also performed with bare hands at 20 degrees C. Moreover, the effect of contact cooling on skin temperatures and rewarming thereafter was examined by means of gripping a steel bar (-10 degrees C) during cold exposure. During exposure to -10 degrees C conditions finger skin temperature rapidly decreased to 10.7 +/- 2.2 degrees C (mean +/- SD). Improvement of body heat balance by exercise increased finger temperatures to 19.6 +/- 9.0 degrees C. Hand temperature remained at a higher level both during rest and exercise at -10 degrees C (20.1 +/- 1.7 and 20.6 +/- 6.1 degrees C, respectively). Cold exposure deteriorated manual performance and especially those functions that are related to finger dexterity. Finger skin temperature had high correlation with screwing, peg-board and magazine loading tests (r = -0.90, r = -0.77 and r = -0.72, respectively, p < 0.01) but no relation was found with hand grip strength (r = -0.03). Manual performance was impaired in every test both by gloves and cooling. Contact cooling decreased skin temperatures on the palm side of the hand and fingers around twice as effectively in normothermic subjects and 3.9-6.5 times more effectively in cooled subjects in comparison to cooling by cold air alone. Contact cooling had no significant effect on skin temperatures on the dorsal side of the fingers. The rewarming rate after the release of the steel bar was clearly higher in the dominant hand in comparison to the non-dominant hand. In conclusion, the present results show that the thermal insulation of rubber gloves was clearly insufficient, allowing unacceptably low finger temperatures during work in the cold. However, only those tasks requiring finger dexterity were clearly adversely affected. Heat production by physical exercise was able to increase finger skin temperature and to partly restore manual performance. Handling of cold tools is especially harmful for the palm side temperature of the non-dominant hand.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Oulu Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

9802250

Citation

Imamura, R, et al. "Manual Performance in Cold Conditions While Wearing NBC Clothing." Ergonomics, vol. 41, no. 10, 1998, pp. 1421-32.
Imamura R, Rissanen S, Kinnunen M, et al. Manual performance in cold conditions while wearing NBC clothing. Ergonomics. 1998;41(10):1421-32.
Imamura, R., Rissanen, S., Kinnunen, M., & Rintamäki, H. (1998). Manual performance in cold conditions while wearing NBC clothing. Ergonomics, 41(10), 1421-32.
Imamura R, et al. Manual Performance in Cold Conditions While Wearing NBC Clothing. Ergonomics. 1998;41(10):1421-32. PubMed PMID: 9802250.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Manual performance in cold conditions while wearing NBC clothing. AU - Imamura,R, AU - Rissanen,S, AU - Kinnunen,M, AU - Rintamäki,H, PY - 1998/11/5/pubmed PY - 1998/11/5/medline PY - 1998/11/5/entrez SP - 1421 EP - 32 JF - Ergonomics JO - Ergonomics VL - 41 IS - 10 N2 - Manual performance while wearing a whole body covering NBC garment was studied at -10 degrees C. Hands were protected by thin cotton gloves, which were covered with rubber gloves. The test subjects were exposed for 40 min in one of the four conditions: standing at -10 degrees C, standing for 10 min followed by walking (5 km/h) for 30 min on a treadmill, standing while holding a solid steel bar (see section 2.2), or standing at 20 degrees C. Six different manual tasks were performed after each 40-min exposure. All tests were also performed with bare hands at 20 degrees C. Moreover, the effect of contact cooling on skin temperatures and rewarming thereafter was examined by means of gripping a steel bar (-10 degrees C) during cold exposure. During exposure to -10 degrees C conditions finger skin temperature rapidly decreased to 10.7 +/- 2.2 degrees C (mean +/- SD). Improvement of body heat balance by exercise increased finger temperatures to 19.6 +/- 9.0 degrees C. Hand temperature remained at a higher level both during rest and exercise at -10 degrees C (20.1 +/- 1.7 and 20.6 +/- 6.1 degrees C, respectively). Cold exposure deteriorated manual performance and especially those functions that are related to finger dexterity. Finger skin temperature had high correlation with screwing, peg-board and magazine loading tests (r = -0.90, r = -0.77 and r = -0.72, respectively, p < 0.01) but no relation was found with hand grip strength (r = -0.03). Manual performance was impaired in every test both by gloves and cooling. Contact cooling decreased skin temperatures on the palm side of the hand and fingers around twice as effectively in normothermic subjects and 3.9-6.5 times more effectively in cooled subjects in comparison to cooling by cold air alone. Contact cooling had no significant effect on skin temperatures on the dorsal side of the fingers. The rewarming rate after the release of the steel bar was clearly higher in the dominant hand in comparison to the non-dominant hand. In conclusion, the present results show that the thermal insulation of rubber gloves was clearly insufficient, allowing unacceptably low finger temperatures during work in the cold. However, only those tasks requiring finger dexterity were clearly adversely affected. Heat production by physical exercise was able to increase finger skin temperature and to partly restore manual performance. Handling of cold tools is especially harmful for the palm side temperature of the non-dominant hand. SN - 0014-0139 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/9802250/Manual_performance_in_cold_conditions_while_wearing_NBC_clothing_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/001401398186180 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -