Research Papers

Risk Models for Evaluation and Type Classification of Personal Flotation Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Bilal M. Ayyub

Center for Technology and Systems Management, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: ba@umd.edu

Samuel Wehr

Standards and Regulations, Mustang Survival Corporation, Burnaby, BC, Canadae-mail: swehr@mustangsurvival.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 6, 2014; final manuscript received October 25, 2014; published online February 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Phil Cappel.

ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Part B 1(1), 011007 (Feb 27, 2015) (23 pages) Paper No: RISK-14-1008; doi: 10.1115/1.4026399 History: Received April 06, 2014; Accepted December 03, 2014; Online February 27, 2015

This paper presents proposed models for assessing the aggregate performance of personal flotation devices (PFDs) by using risk methods. The aggregate performance is used to quantify the probability of a PFD saving lives following marine events. The models provide a formal structure and consistency to an approval process for new and novel engineering designs of such devices. They can also aid in identifying critical factors for evaluating the minimum level of performance necessary for approval. Such models could complement and enhance current standards and could result in significant safety improvements through the implementation of new technologies and designs. Such models could also aid in evaluating other new and innovative classes of engineering designs and designs for special needs. Also, they encourage creativity in system design by increasing the design domain and provide an overall performance measure allowing for trade-off analysis. The models can ultimately provide guidance in the development of future standards. The risk-based models consist of three recommended computational procedures for inherently buoyant, inflatable, and hybrid PFDs. Special panels of experts from the CORD Group, Canada, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), IMANNA Laboratories, Inc., and PFD Manufacturing Association (PFDMA) evaluated these models and provided recommended values by using formal expert opinion elicitation.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Fig. 1

PFD performance, design domain, and standards

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Fig. 2

An early cork life jacket design of 1861 [15]

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Fig. 3

Environments for PFDs

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Fig. 4

PFD performance evaluation

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Fig. 5

Probability tree of inherently buoyant PFD success scenarios

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Fig. 6

Probability tree of inflatable PFD success scenarios

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Fig. 7

Probability tree of hybrid PFD success scenarios

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Fig. 8

(a) Illustrative PFD performance effectiveness relationships for adults, (b) Illustrative PFD Performance effectiveness relationships for children, and (c) Illustrative PFD performance effectiveness relationships for infants




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