List of Offworld Medical Risks
This is a list of articles covering dangers to our people and mission.
This field can be difficult and confusing, and it helps to have some clear definitions.
- Mishap: an unintended condition or event which can result in illness, death, partial or total disability, and/or injury. An accident is an example of a mishap, so are infections, or chronic exposure to toxic agents.
- Risk: there are a couple of different definitions of risk. A colloquial definition is the probability of a hazard, which is not quite the same thing as a hazard by itself
- Risk level: in NASA/military parlance, a "risk Level" is a combination of the Severity of a mishap/hazard, combined with the Probability of mishap/hazard.
Typical usage of "Risk Level" can be as follows:
|High||High||Unacceptable or emergency situation needing immediate attention|
|Low||High||Perhaps acceptable to deal with via precautions, e.g. protective equipment and training|
|High||Low||Extensive verifiable Hazard controls required|
|Low||Low||Probably acceptable, might not need special precautions|
- Hazard Cause: There can be confusion between a hazard versus a hazard cause. For simplicity, it can be useful to consider a hazard as a final condition or undesirable event. A hazard cause is a precursor condition or triggering event which could result in a hazard. For example, electrical or mechanical component failures are hazard causes which can result in hazards such as collision or explosion.
- Hazard Control: a product feature, or procedural step, which tends to prevent a hazard. Such as an arming switch, or structural margin of safety.
- 1 Psychological/Human Factors
- 2 Physiological
- Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction
- Fatigue fatigue can result in operator error
- Training operators need to be well trained in dangerous tasks
- Information accurate and useful information must be displayed to operators in a timely manner to permit correct decisions
- Procedures - checklists, operating manuals, help docs and procedures must be correct, complete, readable, comprehensible and anticipate unusual scenarios
Zero or Low Gravity
- Acoustic damage
- G Force - broken bones, blackout, high speed projectiles
- Confined Space a person trapped in a confined space can run out of air
- Meteor Hazard -- Will a meteor puncture (decompress) your pressurized living space?
- Industrial Accident (the list is endless)
- Roof Support -- Consider the problem of roof collapse.
- Collision vehicles, spacecraft
- Suspended Load -- e.g. cables fail resulting in large falling objects
- Construction activity -- falling cranes, bulldozers crushing workers
- Medical Emergencies
- Lack of medical equipment
- Lack of drug e.g. vaccines, antibiotics, treatments for various conditions
- Lack of medical expertise
- Flammable Atmosphere - a stoichiometric mix of oxygen/air with a flammable vapor can result in large explosion
- Flammable Material
- Ignition Source
- Flammable Gas
- Flammable Liquid
- Toxic materials - e.g. Hydrazine and other propellants
- Toxic gasses
- Liquid Toxins
- Solid Toxins
- Radiation Sickness - e.g. cosmic rays, solar radiation, nuclear piles, RTGs
- Radiation Problem -- A discussion of radiation shielding requirements.
- Cancer induced by radiation or carcinogens
- Radioactive Materials
- Radioactive Particles - ions (ionized atoms), protons, neutrons, electrons and other high speed subatomic particles
- Ionizing Photons - X-ray, Gamma-ray, Ultra-violet
- Passive Sterilization -due to exposure to radiation
Lack of Breathable Atmosphere
- Inhaling Lunar Dust
- Dust - lunar dust represents pervasive and unusual problems
- Silicosis is a disease of the lungs caused by breathing very fine silica dust particles, such as lunar dust
- Smoke inhalation
- Asphyxiation - e.g. from Nitrogen, Helium or other inert gases
- Carbon Dioxide
- Burst eardrums
- Throat irritation - from breathing pure low pressure O2
- Exposure to Vacuum or Decompression
- The Bends
- Nitrogen Narcosis