Human factor issues in relation with personal protective equipment during COVID-19 pandemic: a survey
Keywords:Personal protective equipment, Human issues in relation with PPE, Health care workers, COVID-19 pandemic
Background: Personal protective equipment is used to reduce the danger that causes serious injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Alongside, continuously wearing PPE may also create some hazards. This study explores the human issues in relation to PPE among health care workers.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 283 health care workers who are wearing PPE for taking care of COVID-19 patients from October 2020 to January 2021. 283 valid responses were received. The structured questionnaire was developed in the google form and the link was shared among various groups. Data were organized and analysed by using IBM SPSS 20.0 software.
Results: Participants were uncomfortable in wearing with PPE, they reported safety glasses over spectacles (48.8%) safety goggles (32.9%) not comfortable, nearly half of them reported tough to read and operate equipment due to continuous wearing of safety glasses (46.3%). Around 77% of the participants have reported that they were facing communication problems and were using sign language also.
Conclusion: There are various issues with PPE including fit, comfort, communication & operating ability. This can cause significant discomfort which leads to fatigue, negatively impacting the user’s physiological and psychological wellbeing. Poor fit PPE also puts HCWs at risk of exposure. Females face more issues than males so, we suggest to come up with the wider distribution of sizes like, small, medium and large to improve the fitness and comfort during working. Longer duration may further lead to physical and psychological stress.
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