Women aboard ships : A system oriented human engineering problem identification analysis

Descriptive methods (questionnaires, observations and interviews) were used in conjunction with experimental task simulations in a two phase approach to identify human factors problem areas caused by the recent introduction of women in Naval ship-board billets. Descriptive efforts pointed to a wide range of shipboard fittings and equipments that were inappropriately designed for use by females and smaller males. Special clothing, gear and damage control equipment were noted as especially problematical. Results of experimental simulations of fire fighting with a CO2 extinguisher and starting a P-250 pump were consistent with the findings of the problem descriptive phase. Females registered significantly lower foot pounds of force on the P-250 starter cord than males, with lighter females exerting less force than heavier females. Females also exhibited a different pulling strategy than males did. These results revealed that 85% of the females and 5% of the males sampled would be incapable of starting the P-250 pump. (See more in text.)