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MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

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Fire Fighters, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services

crashed ambulance in research lab

NIOSH is collaborating with industry partners to reduce vehicle-related injuries and fatalities of emergency medical services (EMS) workers.  Specific areas of research include efforts to increase crash protection provided to EMS workers in ambulance patient compartments. Research conducted by NIOSH and industry partners has led to new standards for testing crashworthiness, and is expected to lead to additional comprehensive manufacturing and performance standards.

Law Enforcement Officer Motor Vehicle Safety: Findings from a Statewide Survey
NIOSH Publication No. 2015-101
This document reports results and recommendations from a survey of law enforcement officers in Iowa. Officers responded to questions about their attitudes and behaviors related to motor vehicle safety on the job, their crash experience, and departmental policies and training.

SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2956 for Occupant Restraint and Equipment Mounting Integrity - Side Impact System-Level Ambulance Patient Compartment
SAE (2011)
This SAE Recommended Practice describes the test procedures for conducting side impact occupant restraint and equipment mounting integrity tests for ambulance patient compartments. It describes crash pulse characteristics and recommends test procedures to standardize restraint system and equipment mounting testing for ambulances. Descriptions of the test set-up, test instrumentation, photographic/video coverage, and the test fixtures are included.

A story of impact: NIOSH continues research to improve safety for ambulance service workers and EMS responders
NIOSH Publication No. 2011-190

Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Operating Modified Excess/Surplus Vehicles
NIOSH Publication No. 2011-125
Fire fighters may be at risk for crash-related injuries while operating excess and other surplus vehicles that have been modified for fire service use. NIOSH urges fire departments to take precautions and actions to minimize the hazards and risks to fire fighters when using modified excess/surplus vehicles.

A story of impact: NIOSH research leads to a reduction in safety hazards among ambulance service workers and EMS responders
NIOSH Publication No. 2010-164

Assessing the performance of various restraints on ambulance patient compartment workers during crash events
International Journal of Crashworthiness: October 2010 / 15(5):517-541 
The inability of emergency medical service (EMS) workers to remain safely restrained while treating patients in the patient compartment of a moving ambulance has been identified as a key safety risk for EMS workers in North America. Results indicate that the restraint systems offering mobility have the potential to improve worker safety in this unique work environment. 

SAE (2010). SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2917 for Occupant Restraint and Equipment Mounting Integrity – Frontal Impact System-Level Ambulance Patient Compartment
This SAE Recommended Practice describes the test procedures for conducting frontal impact occupant restraint and equipment mounting integrity tests for ambulance patient compartment applications. These procedures are intended to standardize the testing of restraint systems and equipment mounts in ambulances. Descriptions of the test set-up, test instrumentation, photographic/video coverage, and the test fixtures are included.

Eleven years of occupational mortality in law enforcement: the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 1992-2002
American Journal of Industrial Medicine: September 2010 / 53(9):940-949
This study compares and describes intentional and transport-related fatality rates among US law enforcement officers (LEOs) over an 11-year period. It found that transportation-related deaths were nearly as common as homicide as a cause of occupational injuries and deaths for LEOs.

Reducing firefighter vehicle crash fatalities
Fire Engineering: June 2009 / 162(6):79-84
Although on-duty firefighter fatalities in structure fires have declined in the past 30 years, deaths from motor vehicle crashes have stayed about the same. This article suggests that firefighter deaths in motor vehicle incidents could be reduced by enforcing the use of seatbelts at all times, providing additional training to drivers, wearing appropriate safety equipment, and monitoring compliance with safety rules.

Crash testing of ambulance chassis cab vehicles
SAE 2007 Transactions Journal of Commercial Vehicles. Warrendale, PA: SAE International, 2008 Apr;1-19.
NIOSH and partners conducted a test program to evaluate the capability of mobile restraint systems to protect occupants in the patient compartment of an ambulance. This paper focuses on the test results related to vehicle chassis behavior and acceleration pulses.

National Truck Equipment Association, Ambulance Manufacturers Division Standard 025
This standard establishes the requirements for measuring the minimum acceptable dimension for an occupant workspace inside an ambulance.

 

 
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