Industrial - Bachelors

ASA: Air Safety Assurance

trophy Awarded

A custom-fit N95 respirator for construction workers, eliminating the need for in-person mask fit testing, enhancing comfort, and improving mask effectiveness for 584,000 Australian construction workers affected by occupational lung diseases.

Lungevity Begins with Air Safety Assurance

Image of orange respirator floating in dust. Rocks floating next to respirator


Occupational lung diseases, like silicosis, have become a significant concern in Australia, similar to the asbestos crisis. Construction workers are at risk due to exposure to silica particles while cutting and drilling natural or artificial stone. This leads to lung inflammation, tissue scarring, reduced lung capacity, and an increased cancer risk. Reports indicate that 584,000 Australian construction workers have been exposed to silica dust on construction sites.

A construction worker wearing white, using a concrete saw to cut concrete. Worker is not wearing a mask and is surrounded by concrete dust

Research summary

It would have to be like 15 minutes of concrete dust for me to warrant wearing a mask. Just hold your breath, all tradies say that.

2nd Interview Participant

During the research twenty six participants completed the survey while three participants were involved in a ten minute interview and observation. The following Sankey diagram shows on the left; interviews and survey results, and the right shows topics commonly talked about during the conducted research.

A diagram, on the left showing research methods such as interviews and surveys. On the right the diagram shows research results that have been categorized into key topics, such as adjustment, discomfort and temperature.

Key issues identified through the interview and survey results found

– Discomfort wearing the mask
– Inconvenient to put on mask
– Difficulty to adjust
– Ambient mask temperature

Key usability issues were discovered while observing the three participants putting on and taking off the respirator were

– Respirator getting tangled with other personal protective gear
– Difficult to take off mask temporarily and nowhere to store
– Straps pulling on back of neck, causing pain and irritation.

research report

The Unmasked Truth: Silica’s Silent Impact on Occupational Health
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6 MB
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Mask demonstration video

This video shows the features and usability of the ASA respirator in the context of a workshop and construction environment. Including
– Convenient no tangle mask fitment
– Easy to adjust BOA Fit system with quick release
– Replaceable N95 filters
– Cleaning of mask

mask design and features

MRI Image of lung fibres from front of chest.

The Voronoi pattern on the front of the respirator draws inspiration from intricate patterns found in nature and emulates the delicate structure of lung fibres. This pattern optimises material usage, resulting in a lighter weight and cheaper manufacturing costs. The ASA respirator serves as a ‘sacrificial lung,’ collecting and preventing particles from entering the user’s respiratory system.

The ASA respirator components laid out on a white background, with text indicating various features of the mask. Such as a Tough Nylon cord, rated to withstand 25kg of force and UV resistant

The ASA is a custom fit respirator solving the safety needs of construction workers. To minimise dust exposure the mask utilises current 3D scanning technology commonly seen on phones to void the need of a in person fit test and create a custom seal via 3D printing. This results in a respirator that distributes pressure evenly across the users face as well as eliminating gaps therefore improving comfort and effectiveness. Users could save up to $200 via a digital fit-test, rather than an in person test.

To better meet the needs of construction workers, the mask features a proprietary BOA Fit system that allows for precision adjustment and quick release with one hand. The mask hangs flat on the users chest when not in use ensuring that lung safety is only a gesture away, as well as featuring changeable N95 filters. The Air Safety Assurance respirator is made for construction workers in the prevention of occupational lung diseases such as silicosis.

Design development record (DDR)

research record

Darcy Duckworth Design Development Record – Research
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9 MB
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Design record

Darcy Duckworth Design Development Record – Design
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8 MB
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Darcy Duckworth

Darcy Duckworth is an Industrial Designer with a passion for enhancing the usability and aesthetics of everyday products. His time in the workshop has allowed him to hone his prototyping skills across a broad range of disciplines. Beyond design Darcy enjoys photography and rock climbing.