Planning a Safe Commercial Dive
Commercial divers are needed in a number of industries. Companies require their services for such tasks as salvage and retrieval, blasting, welding, photography, inspections, moorings, dock repairs, construction and propeller servicing. Most commercial divers are utilized in the oil and construction industries. Companies must ensure the safety of all divers and crew members at all times. Companies should have a plan in place that outlines the details of the dive and includes safety and emergency procedures that must be followed in case of an accident.
Companies are required to comply with the safety standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, as well as state and local laws. OSHA requirements for commercial diver safety are provided in OSHA Directive Number CPL 02-00-151.
In addition to OSHA requirements, all divers should be properly trained and undergo a safety and health assessment. Only those who are qualified should be allowed on a commercial dive team. The equipment must include a diving bell or another way to quickly and safely remove an injured diver from the water. Equipment must be properly maintained and checked to ensure that it is in good working condition.
Important Safety Considerations
Dive crews should always have a designated person in charge, also known as the diving supervisor. The supervisor should be a trained diver and can be a standby. The supervisor must be able to go into the water if necessary. A tender should also be designated. The tender is the person in charge when the supervisor is in the water. All personnel should be qualified divers.
Commercial teams should always have at least three members present at all times. This ensures that help is available in case of an emergency. If the work that is being performed is particularly hazardous, more members are needed. When anyone notices any conditions that could be unsafe, the dive should not be performed.
Divers are at high risk for some types of injuries, especially when they are performing deep dives over extended periods of time. Some of the most serious injuries occur due to pressurization problems, also called barotraumas. Gas embolisms, decompression sickness, dysbarism, hypoxia, and round window ruptures are among some of the most severe injuries that can happen. Saturation diving is a way to help prevent and reduce the incidence of these problems.
What to Do After an Accident
Unfortunately, commercial dive accidents occur from time to time. When they do, the diver may suffer from serious injuries. If the proper safety or emergency procedures were not followed, the company may be negligent. The Jones Act also called the Merchant Marine Act, is in place to provide for the safety of those who work in water, including commercial divers. If you were seriously hurt in a diving accident, you may be able to take legal action against the company if they were negligent. Contact an experienced commercial dive accident attorney to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.