46 CFR § 160.053-4 - Inspections and tests.
(a)General. Work vests are not inspected at regularly scheduled factory inspections; however, the Commander of the Coast Guard District may detail a marine inspector at any time to visit any place where work vests are manufactured to observe production methods and to conduct any inspections or tests which may be deemed advisable. The marine inspector shall be admitted to any place in the factory where work is done on work vests or component materials, and samples of materials entering into construction may be taken by the marine inspector and tests made for compliance with the applicable requirements.
(b)Manufacturer's inspections and tests. Manufacturers of approved work vests shall maintain quality control of the materials used, manufacturing methods, workmanship, and the finished product so as to meet the requirements of this specification, and shall make full inspections and tests of representative samples from each lot to maintain the quality of their product.
(c)Lot size. A lot shall consist of not more than 500 work vests manufactured at the same time. Lots shall be numbered serially by the manufacturer, and if at any time during the manufacture of a lot, any change or modification in materials or production methods is made, a new lot shall be started.
(d)Test facilities. The manufacturer shall provide a suitable place and shall have on hand the necessary apparatus for conducting buoyancy tests in compliance with this specification. The apparatus shall include accurate spring scales of adequate capacity, weighted wire mesh baskets, and a test tank or tanks which can be locked or sealed in such a manner as to preclude disturbance of work vests undergoing tests or change in water level.
(1)Buoyancy test method. Remove the buoyant inserts from the vest. Securely attach the spring scale in a position directly over the test tank. Suspend the weighted wire basket from the scale in such a manner that the basket can be weighed while it is completely under water. In order to measure the actual buoyancy provided by the inserts, the underwater weight of the empty basket should exceed the buoyancy of the inserts. To obtain the buoyancy of the inserts, proceed as follows:
(i) Weigh the empty wire basket under water.
(ii) Place the inserts inside the basket and submerge it so that the top of the basket is at least 2 inches below the surface of the water. Allow the inserts to remain submerged for 24 hours. The tank shall be locked or sealed during this 24-hour submergence period.
(iii) After the 24-hour submergence period, unlock the tank and weigh the wire basket with the inserts inside while both are still under water.
(2)Buoyancy required. The buoyant inserts from work vests shall provide not less than 17 1/2 pounds buoyancy in fresh water.