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Title: User-centric design considerations for women's functional protective wear for the construction industry in Southern Africa
Authors: Kolisi, B 
M'Rithaa, Mugendi K. 
Keywords: Ergonomics;Protective clothing -- Design;Construction industry -- Safety measures;Clothing and dress;Women -- Employment
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Ergonomics SA
Abstract: This discussion paper highlights the preliminary findings of an investigation into ergonomic considerations in the design of women’s protective clothing. The study investigates the assumption that there is a dearth in the product offerings of the women’s protective wear that are empathic, ergonomically designed with good fit, and offer acceptable levels of comfort for women working in the construction trade. The research employs a qualitative research method – including interviews with key actors such as women working in the construction industry, manufacturers, and suppliers. The unique morphological features associated with steatopygia that are common in the sub-region, and yet not fully accommodated in the design of context-responsive work wear, are discussed in this paper. The paper explores prevailing attitudes amongst manufacturers and suppliers to motivate them to offer superior products for women in the construction industry. A higher adoption rate of the redesigned women’s protective wear could correlate to reductions in downtime associated with general occupational health and safety issues, as well as the nugatory impact of low levels of comfort, protection and garment fit. Subsequently, a boosted self-confidence and higher levels of motivation occasioned by a positive body image would validate the efficacy of the intended ergonomic design intervention.
ISSN: 1010-2728
Appears in Collections:Surface Design - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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