You are on page 1of 12

USAP Safety and Health

Environment, Safety and Health Section Gwendolyn M. Adams Safety and Occupational Health Manager NSF/Office of Polar Programs 703-292-7438 gadams@nsf.gov

USAP Safety and Health
• Personal safety and health • Scientific research • Recreational activities

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

21 - 22 August 2006

USAP Safety and Health
Bottom line up front
• Unfriendly continent • Inherently dangerous • Mitigate the risks
– – – – – – – Pay attention to the safety briefings Read the manuals Take the required safety training Follow the instructions Listen to your instincts Think about consequences before you act Ask questions
21 - 22 August 2006

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

USAP Safety and Health
Personal safety and health
• Predeployment
• Must pass physical and dental examinations • Psychological examination required for winter-over participants only • Not physically qualified – Does not meet the usap medical screening guidelines • Waiver program – NSF decides

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

21 - 22 August 2006

USAP Safety and Health
Personal safety and health
– Take your own prescribed medications
• NZ Government limits • Consult with RPSC medical staff

– Deployment:
• • • • USAP provides all medical care on the ice Operates clinics at three stations Dispensaries on two research vessels Some medical care at the larger and more remote field camps

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

21 - 22 August 2006

USAP Safety and Health
Scientific research
(All of the activities listed below require specific approvals. )
• • • • • • • • • • Radioactive materials Scientific diving Remote field party deployment High altitude work (>2,500 meters) Use of explosives Traversing crevassed areas Mountaineering Laboratory safety Use of heavy equipment Work around aircraft and vessels
21 - 22 August 2006

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

USAP Safety and Health
Scientific research
• Required safety training
– Snow survival – Helo and aircraft safety – Waste management
• Biohazards • Recyclables

• “House rules”
– Laboratory facilities “Codes of Conduct” – Research vessels – Remote field work (e.g., radio checks)

– Recreational safety

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

21 - 22 August 2006

USAP Safety and Health
Recreation
• • • • Know your own limitations Learn the “do's and don'ts” Be responsible When away from the main station, check-in, as required • Do not take unnecessary chances • Ask questions

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

21 - 22 August 2006

USAP Safety and Health
• Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest, continent
– Wear your ecw
• • • • On the aircraft before you land in antarctica On all out of town trips When the conditions outside warrant it When you are departing antarctica

– Follow acclimatization procedures if you are going to the south pole or working at high altitude (>2,500 meters) drink plenty of water

• Fire – one of our biggest fears
• Keep flammable items away from heat sources • Do not smoke in bed or other prohibited areas
U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop 21 - 22 August 2006

USAP Safety and Health
• Avoid injuries
– Keep your work and living areas clean and free of debris that can cause tripping, falling or other injuries

• Use alcohol and prescribed medications responsibly
– – – – Do not drink and operate machinery Do not drink on the job Do not drink to excess Do not drink prior to boarding any usap aircraft or vessel
21 - 22 August 2006

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

USAP Safety and Health
Bottom line restated
Come back alive and well

Remember: “This continent is dangerous” • You can mitigate risks, if you
– – – – Read the manuals Take the training Follow the rules Stay vigilant
21 - 22 August 2006

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

USAP Safety and Health
What are your questions????? Thank you for your time And Attention

U.S. Antarctic Program, New Investigators Workshop

21 - 22 August 2006