Accession Number:



Personal Flotation Devices Research. Volume 1. Executive Summary and Proposed Technical Approach

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. Oct 1976-Jan 1978 on Phase 2

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Research on the development of a comprehensive system for evaluating the life-saving capability of Personal Flotation Devices PFDs is reported. The approach contained herein evaluates PFDs on the basis of a probabilistic equation called the Life-Saving Index LSI, which includes parameters measuring device assessibility, wearability, ease of donning after an accident, effectiveness when held or worn, and reliability. A projected benefit of 48 lives per year is shown, through a minimum cost impact implementation of the Life-Saving Index System. This minimum cost impact approach consists of implementation of the LSI System through an optional Type X approval using the LSI System. Type X devices, which could include inflatable and hybrid PFDs, would be required to have a LSI higher than present Type III devices. PFDs would be submitted for LSI System approval only if the manufacturer chose to, and sold only if the public wanted to buy and utilize the more effective Type X device. Definitions and means of determining the value of each of the parameters of the LSI, for a given PFD, are given along with recommendations for future work and preliminary test procedures for future approvalcertification programs. Estimated costs and benefits, based on accident data, laboratory field testing, and field observations are given for the Type X implementation approach as well as alternative implementation plans. Volume 2 is the technical report for this research program, and Volume 3 contains appendices to Volume 2.

Subject Categories:

  • Escape, Rescue and Survival

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