OSHA has revised revised a directive* that provides guidance on OSHA procedures aimed at eliminating hazards and reducing worker injuries, illnesses and deaths during commercial diving operations.
"Commercial divers who spend extended periods of time underwater are exposed to hazards such as drowning, circulatory and respiratory problems, and hypothermia," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
OSHA's commercial diving standard (29 CFR 1910 Subpart T), issued in 1977, applies to diving and related support operations in the general, construction and maritime industries. OSHA published a Federal Register notice in January 1985 that exempts scientific diving from the commercial diving standard's requirements if those diving operations meet certain conditions. OSHA amended the standard in 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 existing standard.
This revised directive updates the Subpart T - Commercial Diving Operations directive issued in 2006. Changes in the current directive include: