Working offshore underwater can be a challenging and sometimes risky task. Many factors – including the tides, different diving platforms, varying operational scenarios and the interactions between other offshore and underwater actors off the German coast – result in a complex and changing working environment. To fill the guidance gap and help to make offshore diving work safer, DNV GL has released a new “Offshore Diving Guideline”, which is now also available in English.
"With offshore diving growing in importance in Germany, we needed to examine the existing regulations and guidelines to make sure that they addressed the specific circumstances of professional diving in the offshore sector. The aim of the guide is to provide greater transparency and to draw attention to the safety regulations. In addition, we want to ensure that divers are familiar with emergency and rescue plans and undertake regular training. Therefore training and instruction are an essential component of the offshore diving operation and must be documented," says Karsten Hagenah, DNV GL expert for underwater technology.
Taking into account the existing national and international legal norms, rules and guidelines, a common minimum standard for diving in German coastal waters and the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was developed under the lead of DNV GL. The German version, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), was set up as a project under the National Masterplan Maritime Technologies (NMMT) and implemented in cooperation with the offshore diving working group.
The guide contains administrative principles and the responsibilities of personnel involved in diving operations, technical requirements for the diving equipment used, through to the recommended outfitting for rescue operations. The contents also cover the planning and execution of diving work, maintenance and testing procedures, and special requirements for diver pressure chambers. The guideline further includes practical material, for example checklists for medical findings.
"The aim of the guide is not only to ensure the safety and health of those involved in the diving work, but also to avoid environmental damage and protect equipment and underwater assets,” concludes Hagenah.
The English version, as well as the German version of the guideline, can be downloaded for free here.