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Title: ADVANCED WORKER PROTECTION SYSTEM

From 1993 to 2000, OSS worked under a cost share contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop an Advanced Worker Protection System (AWPS). The AWPS is a protective ensemble that provides the user with both breathing air and cooling for a NIOSH-rated duration of two hours. The ensemble consists of a liquid air based backpack, a Liquid Cooling Garment (LCG), and an outer protective garment. The AWPS project was divided into two phases. During Phase 1, OSS developed and tested a full-scale prototype AWPS. The testing showed that workers using the AWPS could work twice as long as workers using a standard SCBA. The testing also provided performance data on the AWPS in different environments that was used during Phase 2 to optimize the design. During Phase 1, OSS also performed a life-cycle cost analysis on a representative clean up effort. The analysis indicated that the AWPS could save the DOE millions of dollars on D and D activities and improve the health and safety of their workers. During Phase 2, OSS worked to optimize the AWPS design to increase system reliability, to improve system performance and comfort, and to reduce the backpack weight and manufacturing costs. Tomore » support this design effort, OSS developed and tested several different generations of prototype units. Two separate successful evaluations of the ensemble were performed by the International Union of Operation Engineers (IUOE). The results of these evaluations were used to drive the design. During Phase 2, OSS also pursued certifying the AWPS with the applicable government agencies. The initial intent during Phase 2 was to finalize the design and then to certify the system. OSS and Scott Health and Safety Products teamed to optimize the AWPS design and then certify the system with the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH). Unfortunately, technical and programmatic difficulties prevented us from obtaining NIOSH certification. Despite the inability of NIOSH to certify the design, OSS was able to develop and successfully test, in both the lab and in the field, a prototype AWPS. They clearly demonstrated that a system which provides cooling can significantly increase worker productivity by extending the time they can function in a protective garment. They were also able to develop mature outer garment and LCG designs that provide considerable benefits over current protective equipment, such as self donning and doffing, better visibility, and machine washable. A thorough discussion of the activities performed during Phase 1 and Phase 2 is presented in the AWPS Final Report. The report also describes the current system design, outlines the steps needed to certify the AWPS, discusses the technical and programmatic issues that prevented the system from being certified, and presents conclusions and recommendations based upon the seven year effort.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
835737
DOE Contract Number:
AC21-93MC30178
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 16 Mar 2001
Research Org:
Oceaneering Space Systems (US)
Sponsoring Org:
(US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; DESIGN; LIFE-CYCLE COST; MANUFACTURING; PERFORMANCE; RECOMMENDATIONS; RELIABILITY; RESPIRATION; SAFETY; TESTING; US NIOSH; VISIBILITY; PROTECTIVE CLOTHING; RESPIRATORS; LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS