Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


In-Water Performance of Infant Lifejackets: Freeboard Height and Self-Righting Time: A Failure!

Conor V MacDonald, Christopher J Brooks and John W Kozey

Canada published a new lifejacket standard in 2007, but at the time the literature on infant lifejacket performance was sparse and did not guide creation of the standard. Since that time the authors conducted a series of trials on currently available infant lifejackets against this standard. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of the in-water performance trials of freeboard height and self-righting time. A total of 25 parents consented to have their child participate. The attempts at measuring in-water performance were generally unsuccessful. Principal reasons were that the children could not relax in the water and did not want to be placed in a face-down position. Only 17 (21%) reliable freeboard measurements could be taken; while only 2 (8%) participants even attempted the face-down position. It is recommended that Canada move to the use of manikins for evaluation of infant lifejacket freeboard height and self-righting time.