Offshore InjuryBlog

Diving Safety Measures

Diving Safety Measures

Every job on offshore oil rigs carries a high level of risk. Commercial offshore divers are no exception, and as they check, maintain, and expand a rig's structure, it is important that they take every precaution possible to avoid a disastrous accident. Commercial diving safety measures can include maintaining equipment, establishing communication during every dive, and being prepared to provide adequate medical care.

Maintaining equipment is an important step in preparing for every dive, and every diver relies on many pieces of safety equipment to protect them when venturing below the ocean's surface.

Among the many pieces of equipment that divers use, some of the most essential are:

  • Buoyancy compensators (BCs), including secondary inflation
  • Diving Safe Practices Manual
  • Dry suits particularly those with variable inflation attachments and dumps
  • Face masks
  • Fins
  • Knives
  • SCUBA cylinders, including valves or manifolds
  • Regulators, submersible pressure gauges, and depth gauges
  • SCUBA tending lines (when applicable)
  • Surface supply diving helmets
  • Surface supply umbilical lines
  • Watches
  • Weight belts

Federal regulations require that two-way communication be established between every diver and Divemaster, so that any issues can be effectively conveyed. Divers can use a wide range of methods to convey messages or emergencies, including electronic communication, hand signals, line tugs, and underwater air horns, and knowing how to effectively use each can help quickly deal with emergencies.

Medical Examinations and Medical Care for Commercial Divers

Medical care for divers is essential, both in completing regular exams to quickly diagnose any issues and in providing on-site care if an incident should occur. Every dive site should include a first-aid kit and an emergency oxygen delivery system.

On-site Medical Kits Should Include:

  • Ace bandages
  • Ambu bag
  • Bandages
  • Betadine, iodine, or another disinfecting solution
  • Burn dressings
  • Gauze pads
  • Oxygen cylinders
  • Pocket Mask
  • Resuscitator with elder valve
  • Splints
  • Swabs
  • Tourniquet
  • Waterproof tape

Divers should also be required to undergo a physical exam before their first dive, at least once each year, and after any surgery or injury. This exam can quickly catch any adverse issues that may pose a hazard while diving or any symptoms that have developed as a result of diving.

Taking extra precautions such as these can help to minimize accidents and reduce the damage resulting from the ones that do occur. The Diving Safety Manual released by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation expands on these recommendations and explains other steps available to protect divers.

If you have been injured in a commercial diving accident, contact our offshore injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

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