[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2011)]
[Pages 13620-13621]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5732]



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Opportunity to Partner; Testing of Patient Compartment Seating 
and Restraints to Proposed Test Standard

    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 669.

AGENCY: NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Notice of informational meeting and opportunity to partner.


SUMMARY: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH), CDC, HHS, in collaboration with the National Truck Equipment 
Association, Ambulance Manufacturers Division (NTEA-AMD) has developed 
a series of proposed ambulance component test standards. One such 
standard, AMD STANDARD 026--Seat, Seat Mount and Occupant Restraint 
Dynamic Test--Proposed (draft), seeks to improve occupant and seat 
retention during crash conditions. As a part of the standard 
development process, NIOSH will be conducting a series of tests to 
evaluate existing, redesigned, and/or new seating to validate the test 
methods proposed. It is anticipated testing will be conducted in up to 
three phases over approximately 15 months. NIOSH will contract with an 
independent test facility and provide funding for all testing, 
instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis. Prospective 
industry partners will provide the following test assets: Seating, seat 
retention devices, and occupant restraints. This project has three key 
goals: (1) To validate test and data collection methodologies proposed 
in AMD 026 (draft) to support standard development; (2) to support and 
facilitate the transition of the industry from the current seating 
design parameters to those proposed in SAE J2917 Surface Vehicle 
Recommended Practice, Occupant Restraint and Equipment Mounting 
Integrity--Frontal Impact System-Level Ambulance Patient Compartment, 
published May 2010, and SAE J2956 Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice, 
Occupant Restraint and Equipment Mounting Integrity--Side Impact 
System-Level Ambulance Patient Compartment (draft); and, (3) to develop 
the design and production ``cost-of-change'' to meet the proposed 
design parameters.

Dates and Times: March 23, 2011, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time 
(EST) March 24, 2011, 8 a.m.-12 noon, EST, by appointment. NIOSH is 
available to meet with individual companies for those interested in 
further discussion. We anticipate offering the prospective partners the 
opportunity to meet for 30 minutes, to ask specific questions pertinent 
to their situation.

ADDRESSES: Homewood Suites Indianapolis-Downtown, 211 South Meridian 
Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46225, Telephone (317) 636-7992. 
(Coincident with the 2011 Fire Department Instructors Conference 
    Letters of Interest: Interested manufacturers should submit a 
letter of interest with information about their capabilities and level 
of proposed participation to Jim Green at [email protected]. Letters of 
interest must be received by April 25, 2011.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NIOSH proposes a series of up to 116 tests 
to better understand the capabilities and limitations of currently 
available seating and restraints, investigate redesign or new design 
options, and validate the proposed test standard. As a byproduct of 
this effort, it is expected that NIOSH and its partners will be able to 
demonstrate that seating and restraints provided by partners meet the 
design parameters specified in AMD 026 (draft) and test requirements 
outlined in SAE J2917 and SAE 2956 (draft), respectively.
    Prospective partners will be existing seating and/or restraint 
manufacturers nationally or internationally. A prospective partner need 
not be selling to the United States market at the time of this 
    Prospective partners will be required to provide test assets 
(seating, seat retention devices, and/or occupant restraints) free of 
charge in exchange for their participation in this collaborative 
standards development and validation effort. In return, NIOSH will 
cover all costs associated with testing. This includes the cost of the 
sled buck design and manufacture, rental of appropriate test manikins, 
instrumentation related to the litter, manikin, and sled buck, test 
execution, test data analysis, and cost data analysis.
    Given the nature of the proposed change, coupled with the cost for 
each unit, NIOSH anticipates the need to partner with more than one 
manufacturer. Therefore no one manufacturer should expect to be asked 
to contribute all needed test assets.
    In phase 1, test assets are expected to come from those in the 
existing product line per mutual agreement with NIOSH. In phases 2 and 
3, test assets are expected to be introduced as either redesigns of 
existing products or new products entirely based on the results of 
phase 1 testing. The cost of product redesign and manufacture for phase 
2 and 3 testing would be borne by the manufacturer partner(s).
    Each partner will be invited to participate at the site of testing 
(a third party independent test facility) during the testing of its 
product. However, at no time will representatives from two different 
manufacturers be present at the same time or on the same date. As a 
participant, each partner will be provided with a copy of all digital 
video and instrumented data for use in future product development. 
NIOSH will retain a copy of all data but will code, to the extent 
possible, to prevent release of vendor specific product data. Partners 
will retain ownership of each test asset and will be asked to retrieve 
test assets once each test has been completed. All shipping and/or 
disposal costs of test assets to and from the independent test facility 
will be borne by the manufacturer partner(s).
    Recognizing any change in standard or test requirement may have a 
coincident cost; NIOSH will also be seeking to quantify the cost of 
change--that is, the cost of redesigning and manufacturing to meet the 
proposed new test standards. In this instance, NIOSH has a separate 
effort in place with an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 
Any participant or partner in this effort would be required to work 
with the CPA in parallel with the test program outlined above. 
Specifically, the partner would be required to provide the underlying 
cost data for each product evaluated in the test program. This would 
include the costs for a current or comparable pre-test or pre-standard 
seat, seat retention device, and occupant restraint and its companion 
post standard or post redesign equivalent. Prospective partners should 
be aware it may be possible to consider a few products within their 
existing product line (e.g.; entry level, mid level, and high end 
products). These costs may include: Per

[[Page 13621]]

unit cost of materials, per unit cost of labor, per unit cost of 
design, test and certification, etc. Data from each manufacturer will 
be held confidential by the CPA and coded to remove corporate 
identifiers. The goal is to assess the cost of change to the industry 
rather than to an individual product within a given manufacturers' 
broad product line.
    Candidate companies will be evaluated based on their capability and 
willingness to work cooperatively to achieve the stated goals. 
Candidates selected will be required to enter into a Letter of 
Agreement spelling out the level of participation expected of each 
partner and the handling of data generated from the partnership. This 
announcement does not obligate NIOSH to enter into an agreement with 
any respondents. NIOSH reserves the right to establish a partnership 
based on the engineering analysis and capabilities found by way of this 
announcement or other searches, if determined to be in the best 
interest of the government.
    NIOSH recognizes this opportunity will raise many questions for 
prospective partners. In order to give all involved the greatest 
opportunity to understand the process and project expectations, the 
NTEA-AMD, our collaborative partner and host standards setting body, 
has agreed to provide a meeting room for us to hold an informational 
meeting to present a broad overview of the effort and answer any 
resulting questions.
    In order to provide us with the best opportunity to meet the needs 
of all prospective partners at each of these meetings; we request that 
all interested parties contact Jim Green, NIOSH Project Officer, by e-
mail at [email protected]; or telephone (304) 285-5857, by Thursday, March 
17, 2011.

e-mail: [email protected]; telephone (304) 285-5857.
    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been 
delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to 
announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, 
for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency 
for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Dated: March 7, 2011.
Tanja Popovic,
Deputy Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and 
[FR Doc. 2011-5732 Filed 3-11-11; 8:45 am]