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Assessment of vibration exposure and physiological responses of crew members during Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) operation: a pilot study
  1. Archana A Malhari,
  2. D Bhattacharyya,
  3. K Arya,
  4. T Chatterjee and
  5. M Pal
  1. Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Lucknow Road, Delhi-110054, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr M Pal, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Lucknow Road, Delhi 110054, India; madhusudanpal{at}rediffmail.com

Abstract

Background Operation of infantry combat vehicle (ICV) influences the cardiorespiratory responses as well as the risk of vibration exposure on the crew members which adversely affect their performance and health.

Aim To assess the effect of stress factors, that is, ICV’s compartmental temperature, relative humidity (RH) and vehicular vibration on the physiological parameters (heart rate (HR), respiratory frequency (RF), estimated core body temperature (ECT)) of the crew members during the ICV operation.

Methods A 1 hour run trial of the ICV operation was conducted with its crew members at their respective positions. Compartmental temperature and RH were monitored at an interval of every 15 min during the run trial. Physiological parameters were monitored continuously during the run trial. Whole body vibration (WBV) and hand-arm vibration (HAV) of the crew members were also measured during the run trial time.

Results The findings showed a strong positive correlation (p<0.05) between the increasing compartmental temperature and RH with its run trial time. Significant changes were observed in the physiological parameters (p<0.05) along with the increasing run trial time. Additionally, the physiological parameters showed a strong positive correlation with compartmental temperature and RH, respectively (p<0.05). Also, a significant increase (p<0.05) in the muscle strength was recorded after their exposure to ICV operation. The study also confirmed high level of WBV exposure of the crew members during the ICV operation.

Conclusion Increase in HR, RF and ECT along with increase in temperature and RH is a predictive indicator of physiological stress. Moreover, high levels of vibration exposure of various operations may bring deleterious effect on soldiers’ health as well as their performance. Proper ergonomic intervention can reduce exposure to vibration, physiological stress and increase comfort which may ultimately ensure an optimum performance of soldiers and successful completion of mission.

  • Infantry combat vehicle operation
  • physiological parameters
  • whole body vibration and hand-arm vibration
  • compartmental temperature and humidity
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Footnotes

  • Contributors AAM: contributed for study design, field data collection and analysis for physiological and environmental data and also drafted the manuscript. DB: contributed for study design, field data collection on vibration and finalisation of the drafted manuscript. KA: contributed in field data collection and scientific input. TC: contributed for study design, field data collection and scientific input. MP: construction of study design, coordination of field trial, Interpretation of results, finalisation of the manuscript and overall supervision.

  • Funding This study was funded by Ordnance factory, Medak, Ministry of Defence, India (Grant Number: OFMK/ODC/J700216).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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