Dec 2018
Gas Distribution
Novel Seal PPE
Dec 2018
Jul 2019
Northern Gas Networks
Mark Simpson
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Safety and emergency
Health and Safety
Current breathing apparatus typically uses a hard material interface, which requires the ‘wearer’ to be clean shaven for an effective protective facial seal. As a result users must be clean shaven for fitting of the apparatus, and remain so even if it is used infrequently. In reality operatives are not always suitably shaven to meet the manufacturers’ safety requirement, which negatively affects the fit and sealing capability, causing a health and safety risk of inhalation of airborne particles or gases. This restricts the ‘wearer’ from having facial hair, limits the role of those who have legitimate medical or religious exemptions and is and requires significant resource and time to enforce this unpopular but necessary control. Additionally this has a negative impact on presenting NGN as a potential employer for those interested in Operational roles.
There are three objectives of Phase 1A:
1. A complete capture of information required to solve the problem. This will be achieved through a detailed requirement capture and workshops with the operators, ensuring that all subsequent decisions are as informed as possible.
2. Selection of a final concept through a down-selection workshop. This will be done through an optioneering study – up to five concept solutions will be generated that fulfil the requirements. The down-selection pack will contain all of the proposed concepts and communicate the rationale behind them. A weighted multi-criteria decision analysis tool will be used alongside collaboration with the design team and the customer in order to reach an agreed decision on the final preferred concept. The key points from the workshop will be recorded and developed as part of an optioneering report.
3. Costed proposal for further development of the preferred design to testable prototypes.
There is one objective of Phase 1B:

1. An initial assessment of the commercialisation route for the down-selected concept from Phase 1A. The output from this assessment will be a roadmap of the activities that are required to develop a commercially exploitable version of the concept. Part of this assessment will include two meetings with the Networks’ preferred exploitation partner.