Individual Light Armour Vests (ILAV) ResearchReport

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope, Ben Schram, Darren Correa, Kate Lyons, Colin Tomes, Wayne A Hing

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearch


Executive Summary [Extract]
This project was commissioned by the New South Wales Police Force through their representatives from the Operational Safety and Skills Command. The aim of this project was to investigate the impacts of three different Individual Light Armour Vests (ILAV) on select physical performance, task performance, systemic (thermal) and subjective measures and to compare these ILAV against each other and current station wear variants with the intent of providing best evidence for ILAV selection. Data were collected at the NSW Police College over the period 29 AUG 16 to 02 SEPT 16 where 12 volunteer police officers (♂n=6: ♀n=6) completed a variety of assessments over a four-day period while randomly allocated via a counterbalanced, repeated measures, design to trial ILAV variants A through C and normal station wear. The scope of this project encompassed the data collected during this research project which was then contextualized to the broader literature via a critical review of the literature.

The critical review of the literature found that while the effects of wearing body armor on marksmanship and various physiological parameters were still uncertain, wearing body armor was found to have significant biomechanical and physical performance impacts on the wearer, including decreasing work capability and balance and stability while increasing time to complete tasks and the wearer’s perceived rate of exertion to complete tasks. These occupationally-relevant performance decrements may also lead to decreased cognitive capability. Based on the findings of this review it was recommended that body armor should be carefully selected, with consideration of the levels of physical conditioning of the wearers and the degree to which the armor system can be ergonomically optimized for the individual wearer.

During the data collection period at the NSW Police College physiological performance (e.g. vertical jump power and grip strength), marksmanship (shooting scores), mobility (e.g. car exit and 5 m sprint, 10m victim drag, 20m sprint, FMS), posture and kinetics (e.g. sway, ground reaction forces), systemic (e.g. core and tympanic membrane temperatures), and subjective (e.g. visual analogue scales, perceived exertion) measures were collected.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBond University
Commissioning bodyNew South Wales Police Force
Number of pages69
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016


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