The directive updates the Subpart T – Commercial Diving Operations directive issued by OSHA in 2006.

OSHA Updates Commercial Diving Directive

Effective June 13, CPL 02-00-151 references current editions of other OSHA instructions and the Association of Diving Contractors International's Consensus Standard for Commercial Diving.

OSHA has updated its five-year-old directive intended to help commercial diving operations ensure hazards are minimized and injuries and deaths are reduced.

Effective June 13, CPL 02-00-151 references current editions of other OSHA instructions and industry standards and manuals, including CPL 02-00-150, the Field Operations Manual, and the Association of Diving Contractors International's Consensus Standard for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations (6th Edition).

"Commercial divers who spend extended periods of time underwater are exposed to hazards such as drowning, circulatory and respiratory problems, and hypothermia," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "The guidance provided in this directive will help ensure consistent enforcement and compliance with OSHA's commercial diving operations standards."

The OSHA commercial diving standard (29 CFR 1910 Subpart T) was issued in 1977 and applies to diving and related support operations in general industry, construction, and maritime. OSHA exempted scientific diving from its requirements, if they meet certain conditions, in January 1985 and also amended it February 2004 to allow recreational diving instructors and guides to comply with an alternative set of requirements instead of the decompression chamber requirements in the standard.

The new directive updates the Subpart T – Commercial Diving Operations directive issued in 2006 and includes these changes, according to OSHA:

  • It clarifies the requirements for and duties of workers who assist divers with their diving suits and gear, communications equipment, and other functions.
  • It updates the instruction about no-decompression air dives (Appendix D) based on Revision 6 of the U.S. Navy Diving Manual.
  • It adds electronic links.

Inspection procedures for before, during, and after dives are included, as are equipment maintenance and recordkeeping requirements.

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