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Taber, M. J., Sayles, S. & Carroll, J. (2012). The impact of personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus on offshore lifeboat evacuation time. Occupational Ergonomics, 10, 189-206.


Abstract. A primary objective of this study was to determine if the 15 minutes of air contained in an emergency breathing

apparatus afforded sufficient time to carry out an evacuation from an offshore installation in the event of an uncontrolled

hydrogen sulfide (H2S) release. Twenty-four male and 12 female volunteers performed relevant evacuation skills during a

simulated evacuation into 36-person lifeboat. An observational analysis and subjective ratings of difficulty were used to

determine potential ergonomic and safety issues. Results indicate that even under the worst-case scenario, all personnel would

be able to safely evacuate to the lifeboat and abandon the installation given similar conditions used during this study. It was

noted however, that ergonomic improvements to the design of the personal protective and safety equipment could improve

usability, thus decrease abandonment times.


Keywords: Observational task analysis, abandonment procedures, human performance, installation evacuation, escape breathing air, lifeboat

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