Author(s): Stewart IB, Rojek AM, Hunt AP
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Abstract Bomb technicians perform their work while encapsulated in explosive ordnance disposal suits. Designed primarily for safety, these suits have an unintended consequence of impairing the body's natural mechanisms for heat dissipation. Consequently, bomb technicians are known to experience symptoms of heat illness while performing their work. This research provides the first field based analysis of heat strain in bomb technicians. Six participants undertook simulated operational tasks across 2 days of variable climate. All subjects demonstrated high levels of heat strain as evidenced by elevated heart rate, core body temperature, and physiological strain index. Participants also reported signs and symptoms associated with heat illness. These results were exacerbated by more intense physical activity despite being undertaken in a cooler environment. The universal experience of heat strain in this sample has significant implications for the health of bomb technicians and additional research examining methods to improve temperature regulation and performance is warranted.
This article was published in Mil Med
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics