A user-centred design process of new cold-protective clothing for offshore petroleum workers operating in the Barents Sea
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIndustrial Health. 2017, 55 (6), 564-574. 10.2486/indhealth.2017-0127
Petroleum operations in the Barents Sea require personal protective clothing (PPC) to ensure the safety and performance of the workers. This paper describes the accomplishment of a user-centred design process of new PPC for offshore workers operating in this area. The user-centred design process was accomplished by mixed-methods. Insights into user needs and context of use were established by group interviews and on-the-job observations during a field-trip. The design was developed based on these insights, and refined by user feedback and participatory design. The new PPC was evaluated via field-tests and cold climate chamber tests. The insight into user needs and context of use provided useful input to the design process and contributed to tailored solutions. Providing users with clothing prototypes facilitated participatory design and iterations of design refinement. The group interviews following the final field test showed consensus of enhanced user satisfaction compared to PPC in current use. The final cold chamber test indicated that the new PPC provides sufficient thermal protection during the 60 min of simulated work in a wind-chill temperature of -25°C. Conclusion: Accomplishing a user-centred design process contributed to new PPC with enhanced user satisfaction and included relevant functional solutions.