Assessment of life saving appliances regulatory requirements - Human factors knowledge gaps

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Proceedings title2014 Oceans - St. John's, OCEANS 2014
Conference2014 Oceans - St. John's, OCEANS 2014, 14 September 2014 through 19 September 2014
Article number7003297
SubjectHuman engineering; Harsh environment; Knowledge gaps; Lifesaving appliances; Marine accidents; Marine safety; regulations; Regulatory requirements; Testing conditions; Accidents
AbstractLife saving appliances are used throughout Canada and around the world every day by a large number of individuals who work or travel over open water. Personnel rely on these life saving appliances to help provide protection from harsh environments, and reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a marine accident. Due to their importance in helping to save lives at sea, life saving appliances are built and tested according to specific standards and regulations to ensure that they provide the level of performance required. Unfortunately, life saving appliances do not always perform as expected which can lead to unexpected injuries or loss of life. Given that life saving appliances must meet specific performance goals as prescribed by standards and regulations, it is often these goals that fall short of what is actually needed during a marine accident. A knowledge gap is created when the testing conditions, as outlined in a standard or regulation, do not accurately reflect those conditions found during a marine accident. As a result, a life saving appliance will often meet performance goals that are below those required to prevent an injury or loss of life during an actual marine accident. The Canadian regulation: 'Life Saving Equipment Regulations' C.R.C., c. 1436 was reviewed and possible knowledge gaps with respect to human factors were identified. The goals and requirements for life saving appliances in the regulation were compared against existing work done in the area of marine safety to determine if what was prescribed adequately reflected what could be found during a marine accident. There were many gaps identified in the regulation, commonly caused by prescriptive wording specifying conditions not commonly found during a marine accident. These knowledge gaps will widen as conditions become more severe than what is prescribed in the regulations possibly leading to even further decrease in life saving appliance performance than what is already measured.
Publication date
AffiliationOcean, Coastal and River Engineering; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC numberOCRE-PR-2014-017
NPARC number21275664
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Record identifier85539135-06f8-43e1-8f58-52c5543fe9c9
Record created2015-07-14
Record modified2016-05-09
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