Designing Hyperbaric Decompression Chambers

Elaine Mackie, Andree Woodcock, Chris Johnson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    347 Downloads (Pure)
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationContemporary Ergonomics 2008: Proceedings of the International Conference on Contemporary Ergonomics (CE2008), 1-3 April 2008, Nottingham, UK
    EditorsPhilip D. Bust
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherCRC Press
    ISBN (Print)0415465753, 9780415465755
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: - This was a significant piece of research commissioned by a global industry leader in the field of hyperbaric diving equipment design and manufacture for the commercial diving industry.
    This paper was presented at the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors Conference 2008, Nottingham and became a feature article within ‘The Ergonomist’ (the newsletter of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors drawing the attention of registered ergonomists to the human factors associated with deep sea diving accommodation.
    Its potential wider applicability will be to provide recommendations for improving the physical and psychological experience of divers by a consideration of the future design of furniture and equipment location within hyperbaric chamber interiors. The impact for the client has been to have these recommendations depicted in a prototype which can also be used to garner further opinion from a wider spectrum of the diving community which may influence health and safety guidelines in this area.
    Due to the logistical difficulties of accessing the end user population (i.e. divers), research rigour was achieved with a combination of research methods namely the design of a questionnaire and observations of behaviour on a mockup of the proposed chamber design. The questionnaire enabled the design team to understand more about the nature of the work undertaken by divers as well as generating feedback from the divers to input into early concept designs. The mockup provided a means to evaluate the design against the users’ requirements that emerged from the questionnaire.
    The paper’s originality lies in its contribution to understanding and knowledge, building on the findings of Bolstad, G. et al (1997), but drawing information from current internal reports and standards. Novel ideas for accommodation are generated by considering the application of technology to the living environment and the need to remain physically fit and active during shift work.
    Nature and impact of author: - The author’s impact was significant to this paper since she teaches a wide-ranging selection of user centred research methods and has either evaluated and/or applied these in her other research outputs. She supervised the third year intern design students in terms of designing the questionnaire and translating the results of this into a set of user requirements that would be used to inform initial concept proposals. She also has a broad background in designing transport interiors and proven expertise having worked within the railway industry in applying regulations associated with interior details.

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