Ergonomic impact of prehospital clinicians using body armour: A qualitative study

Duncan Ritchie* (Corresponding Author), Christopher Doyle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Armed crime constitutes a significant number of offences in England. The associated healthcare burden forms 32% of the workload of London HEMS, requiring these clinicians to use body armour. Much research has explored the ergonomic impact of body armour in police and military populations however the impact on prehospital clinicians is not known. The aim of this study is to explore the perceptions of prehospital clinicians of wearing body armour. Focus groups were conducted until theoretical saturation was reached, utilising hermeneutic phenomenology. Problems with the comfort, safety, time, hygiene, coverage, and female fit of armour were identified. Clinicians feel hot in summer, time to respond to scenes is increased and the fit for females is poor. Consideration should be given to sourcing specific female-fit armour and to the interoperability with the rest of the protective clothing. A redesign of uniform could provide greater flexibility to mitigate some of the issues.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103947
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Early online date30 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Body armour
  • Emergency medical services
  • Focus groups


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