3D anthropometry: quantifying the shape and size variability within the UK male offshore oil and gas workforce.
Ledingham, Robert J.
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LEDINGHAM, R.J. 2016. 3D anthropometry: quantifying the shape and size variability within the UK male offshore oil and gas workforce. Robert Gordon University, MRes thesis.
Background: UK male offshore workers typically increased in weight by 19% since 1985, and are also heavier than the background UK male population. Aim: To conduct an anthropometric survey on UK offshore workers, employing the latest portable 3D scanning technology, to quantify size and shape change associated with weight increase and identify differing physique groups among the sample. Method: 588 male offshore workers within seven pre-determined weight categories were scanned, using the Artec L portable 3D scanner, in three different postures; whilst wearing form-fitting clothing and while wearing a survival suit. 404 of the 588 participants also undertook a helicopter window escape task. Results: The sample population had average weight of 90.5 kg, and matched the weight distribution of the workforce population as a whole (chi squared=11.7; 11df, P>0.05). Five extracted girths (neck, chest, waist, hip and wrist) were found be 13.5% greater than in 1985, with the highest average measurement 17.3% greater at the waist. The 99th percentile of extracted measures had increased more than twice that of the 1st percentile (18.3% v 8.9% increase respectively). The reliability of extracted measures was high with average TEM of 1.15%. 11 distinct physique clusters were identified, across four morphological somatotypes, displaying a tendency towards endomorphic and mesomorphic phenotypes and a predisposition towards obesity (average BMI=28.3 kg/m2). 51% of the sample successfully passed through the smallest industry standard escape exit, with the best morphological prediction of window egress giving a predictive accuracy of 73.5%. Conclusion: The dramatic increase in size and shape within the offshore workforce over the last 30 years represents an ‘expanding universe’ of physique and weight variability. The challenge this presents to designers is considerable in ensuring the on-going ergonomic fit of the industry’s working environment for the offshore population.