Researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU; Aberdeen, UK) are to measure offshore workers' body size with 3-D scanners to inform the future design of safety equipment, survival clothing and space requirements on offshore installations.The research is the first of its kind in more than 25 years and is being led by researchers at Robert Gordon University's Institute of Health and Welfare Research (IHWR) in collaboration with experts from Oil and Gas UK.
Six hundred off-shore workers will be scanned during the course of the study. The data will then be used to inform all aspects of offshore ergonomics and health and safety, from emergency helicopter evacuation and survival suit design to space availability in corridors and work environments."The last body size survey of offshore workers was undertaken in the mid 1980s and since then the average weight of the workforce has risen by 19 per cent.
As a consequence the size and shape of the offshore workforce has increased to an unknown level," says project leader Dr. Arthur Stewart, the deputy director of RGU's Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology.
More than £150,000 in funding for the project was secured through a combination of a Technology Strategy Board Knowledge Transfer Partnership Grant as well as support from several Oil and Gas UK member companies.