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USAP Safety and Health

Polar Research Support Section Gwendolyn M. Adams Associate Program Manager for Safety and Health NSF/Office of Polar Programs

USAP Safety and Health
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
• • • • • USAP Policies Proposal Preparation Defining Support Requirements Deployment Process “On-ice” Activities

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
POLICIES
• Travel to Antarctica is inherently risky • USAP establishes policies to help mitigate those risks • Most USAP Requirements are consistent with Institutional Programs
– General laboratory safety – OSHA-type programs
U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop 23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health

POLICIES (Cont’d)
• Some USAP Requirements are Unique
– mountaineering/survival skills for remote field parties – underwater diving

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
PROPOSAL PREPARATION
• Complete “Safety and Health” checklist • Identify “field requirements” • Objective is to identify Safety and Health risks or unusual support requirements early
– Subsequent support planning is based on responses to above – Does not influence grant award decisions

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
DEFINING SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS PROPOSAL STAGE: • Identify your needs
– – – – – Hazardous materials--waste management Remote field work (mountaineering skills) Underwater diving Use of explosives Use of radioisotopes
23 – 24 August 2004

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

USAP Safety and Health
DEFINING SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS AWARD STAGE:
• USAP Support Contractor Will Appoint a Coordinator to Guide and Assist PI • Based on Operational Requirements Worksheet:

– Rad authorization request, if using radioisotopes – Diving authorization request, if conducting underwater diving, – Details on waste streams, if using hazardous materials, – Additional specifics on remote field work
U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop 23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
DEPLOYMENT PROCESS
• PRE-DEPLOYMENT ACTIVITIES
– Finalize “research support plan” – Medical clearance required for all personnel traveling to Antarctica – NSF establishes the medical clearance criteria
• Difference between summer and winter deployment criteria • RPSC applies the criteria
23 – 24 August 2004

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

USAP Safety and Health
DEPLOYMENT PROCESS (Cont’d)
– RPSC sends Deployment “packet” to all deploying

personnel

• Typically sent out ~May prior to ~October deployment • Packet includes medical and dental exams

– Personnel wintering over must also pass a psychological examination

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
DEPLOYMENT PROCESS (Cont’d)
– Traveler completes the packet and returns to RPSC for medical and dental qualifications determination (PQ/NPQ) – Grant pays for exams, not “repairs” – Some people may not qualify, so PI needs to have alternates identified – If collaborating with international scientists, some reciprocity between other national programs

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
“ON-ICE” ACTIVITIES
• USAP provides all “on-ice” medical care • USAP operates medical clinics at 3 stations and dispensaries on two Research Vessels • Medical capabilities are limited, so Program needs to insure “healthy” population

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop

23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
“ON-ICE” ACTIVITIES (Cont’d)
• Specified training requirements
– – – – remote field work.... “Snow School” waste management recreational safety helo, aircraft safety

• Follow “house rules”
– Lab facilities “Codes of Conduct” – Research Vessels – Remote field work (e.g., radio checks
U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators workshop 23 – 24 August 2004

USAP Safety and Health
BOTTOM LINE • KEEP IN THE FRONT OF YOUR MIND, “THIS CONTINENT IS DANGEROUS” • RISKS CAN BE MITIGATED • YOU ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND AND YOUR WORST ENEMY
– STAY VIGILANT – DON’T BE A HERO – READ THE MANUALS, LISTEN TO THE RECTORIC – FOLLOW THE RULES

• COME BACK ALIVE, HEALTHY, AND IN ONE PIECE