Three safety events from IMCA report on a near miss involving a diver’s umbilical; COBRA…
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, many commercial divers are finding it challenging to determine when it is safe for them to return to diving work after contracting COVID-19.
In recent months ADAS has received a number of enquiries regarding returning to diving work, with divers looking for guidance on timeframes.
Australian States WHS Regulators are either preparing, or have already issued, guidance on the topic. If you work in an Australian State where guidance has been published (such as NSW [https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/hazards-a-z/diving-work]), ADAS recommends you follow it preferentially. Similarly, WHS Regulators in other countries such as New Zealand have already issued guidance [https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/about-us/news-and-media/covid-19-and-diver-safety] that is relevant to anyone engaged in diving work in the country.
In states or countries where no diving-specific recommendation have been published, ADAS notes that both the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) [https://www.imca-int.com/covid-19/] and the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS) [https://www.spums.org.au/content/covid-19-updates] have guidance available on their websites, that is updated regularly.
While ADAS recognises that a number of bodies are providing advice on returning to general work post-COVID, divers are reminded that hyperbaric work requires a higher level of fitness than most other occupations, and that occupational diving-specific guidelines should be followed whenever possible.