Masters Theses


"First response teams dealing with hazardous substances often require the highest level of protection provided by Level A suits. These suits are fully encapsulating, bulky, and heat retentive. The effect of these suits on the wearer's ability to perform various tasks is of interest when it comes to human performance analysis. This research effort examined the effect of the Level A suit on fine motor and gross motor dexterity. Seven members of the National Guard's Civil Support Team (CST) performed a battery of six tasks designed to test these abilities. Tasks comprised the Minnesota Dexterity test and the Mirror Tracer test at varying levels of difficulty. The measures of performance considered were time to complete and accuracy, and these were used to obtain a correlation between the Level A suit and performance. The results indicated that there was a significant detrimental effect from wearing the suit for both measures of performance. Also of interest is whether there exists a time-in-suit effect. Tests of repeated measures and regression analysis concluded that a significant detrimental time-in-suit effect was not identified. This could be due to a learning effect, or due to a limitation of the tasks not being sufficiently challenging. Regardless of the time-in-suit effect, the cumbersome Level A suits themselves have a proven negative effect on human performance. Based on the current results, substantial allowances should be provided when planning or modeling work to be performed in the protective suits. Additionally, there should be an appreciation for the associated increase in errors due to the level of discomfort and confinement brought about by these suits"--Abstract, page iv.


Murray, Susan L.

Committee Member(s)

Sheng, Hong
Stone, Nancy J.
Cudney, Elizabeth A.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Management


Alion Science and Technology, Inc. Program Management Office


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Effects of personal protective equipment Level A suits on fine and gross motor dexterity
  • Modeling human performance in chemical protective suits


x, 65 pages


© 2010 Yvette Laura Simon, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Motor ability -- Comparative studies
Performance standards
Performance technology
Protective clothing -- Evaluation

Thesis Number

T 9629

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