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Introduction to the NOAA Diving Program and Diving Regulations & Policies

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Title: Introduction to the NOAA Diving Program and Diving Regulations & Policies


1
Introduction to the NOAA Diving Program and
Diving Regulations Policies
  • Presented by the NOAA Diving Center
  • Seattle, Washington

2
Global View
  • Regulatory Authority
  • History of NOAA regulations
  • Applicability of regulations and exceptions
  • NOAA Diving Program (NDP) organizational
    structure
  • NDP advisory boards
  • Eligibility and maintenance of certification
  • NDP diver classifications
  • Certifications
  • Reciprocity
  • Logging dives
  • Reportable diving incidents
  • Safety rules highlights
  • OSHA Diving Regulations
  • OSHA Scientific Exemption
  • Compliance
  • NOAA Scientific and Working Diving Manuals
  • NAO 209-123

3
Introduction
  • Need Value Regulations bring order to events
    and help ensure safety. NOAA divers need to know
    and adhere to various regulations that affect how
    they dive.
  • Effect You will conform to all applicable
    regulations because you understand their purposes
    and the benefits of compliance.

4
NOAA Diving Program
  • Two major programs support undersea research
    within NOAA
  • The NOAA Diving Program (NDP)
  • The Ocean Exploration Research (previous NURP)
  • The NDP supports intramural research efforts
    conducted primary by NOAA personnel
  • The NURP supports extramural research efforts
    conducted by scientists from academic institutions

5
Why dive?
  • Trying to learn about the oceans and the plants
    and animals that live there using surface-based
    sampling techniques is like an alien trying to
    learn about life on earth using a scoop bucket
    from a spacecraft.
  • The results would be misleading and inaccurate

6
In-Situ Research
  • Theres no substitute for in-situ (in place)
    research conducted by humans that can see, feel,
    and touch these plants and animals in their own
    environment
  • No machine built to date can replace the divers
    hands, eyes, and brain

7
Program Mission Statement
  • To ensure that all NOAA diving operations are
    conducted safely, efficiently, and economically
    in support of NOAA's goals and objectives.

8
Program Goals
  • To establish standards and procedures for
    conducting safe diving operations
  • To provide professional, comprehensive, and
    innovative instruction
  • To provide safe, state-of-art, and well
    maintained dive equipment
  • To provide guidance and expertise to the diving
    community
  • To investigate new diving technologies and
    techniques
  • To foster cooperative working relationships with
    other research diving programs
  • To promote NOAA and the Dive Program through
    educational outreach

9
Guiding Documents
10
NOAA Dive Unit Locations
11
What do NOAA divers do?
NOAA Diving Program Seattle, Washington, USA
12
Who dives for NOAA?
  • NOAA scientists, technicians, professional
    mariners, educators, and managers
  • With more than 450 active divers, NOAA has the
    largest complement of divers of all civilian
    agencies in the U.S.

NOAA Diving Program Seattle, Washington, USA
13
Science Tasks
  • Observing and monitoring
  • Gathering data
  • Photographing flora and fauna
  • Counting, measuring and collecting samples
  • Tasks meet criteria outlined in 29
    CFR1910.401(a)(2)(iv)(B), for scientific
    exemption.

NOAA Diving Program Seattle, Washington, USA
14
Working Tasks
  • Ship husbandry
  • Search recovery
  • Installation
  • Maintenance repair
  • Test evaluation
  • Inspection survey
  • Tasks are subject to 29 CFR 1910, Subpart T

NOAA Diving Program Seattle, Washington, USA
15
Training Proficiency Tasks
  • Tasks conducted during initial or refresher
    training
  • In order to remain on the active dive roster,
    NOAA divers must perform a minimum of one (1)
    dive every six (6) weeks

NOAA Diving Program Seattle, Washington, USA
16
Number of NOAA Divers 1990 thru 2009
17
Science vs. Working Divers
2001 - 2008
18
SECO Reported Dive-Related Incidents
19
NOAA Diving Program Organizational Structure
Diving Safety Officer
20
NOAA Diving Control Safety Board
Dave Dinsmore NOAA Diving Program Manager
Seattle WA
Bill Gordon OMAO DDO , Seattle, WA
Greg McFall NOS LODO, Savannah, GA
Ray Boland NMFS DDO, Honolulu, HI
Andy David (Chair) NMFS LODO, Panama City, FL
Mitchell Tartt NOS DDO, Silver Spring, MD
Douglas Schleiger DCM, Seattle, WA
CDR Joel Dulaigh, USPHS NDC Diving Medical
Officer Seattle, WA
Steven Urick NOAA Diving Safety Officer Seattle,
WA
21
NOAA Diving Center Organizational Structure
_ _____ __ _____ ___ _______ _________

NOAAs Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
(OMAO)
21
21
22
The NOAA Diving Center
  • Administrative headquarters
  • Training
  • Equipment maintenance distribution
  • Field support
  • Dive unit inspections

NOAA Diving Program Seattle, Washington, USA
23
Regulatory Authority
  • NOAA divers must adhere to several sets of
    regulations, standards and policies specifically
    related to diving
  • 29 CFR 1910, Subpart T (OSHA Commercial Diving
    Regulations)
  • NOAA Diving Regulations (aka NOAA Administrative
    Order 209-123),
  • NOAA Scientific Diving Standards and Safety
    Manual,
  • NOAA Scientific Diving Standards and Safety
    Manual, and
  • OMAO Policies (0300 series)

24
History of NOAA Diving Regs
  • The first set of NOAA diving regulations was
    implemented in February 1972
  • Subsequent revisions
  • August 12, 1974
  • November 30, 1983
  • March 29, 1991
  • May 2, 2003
  • September 22, 2011

25
NAO 209-123 Purpose
  • The Order establishes requirements, policies,
    responsibilities, and authorities for the
    development, implementation, and oversight of the
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    (NOAA) Diving Program (NDP).
  • The purpose of this order is to ensure all NOAA
    diving operations are conducted in a manner that
    will maximize protection of divers from
    accidental injury and/or illness.

26
NAO 209-1213 Scope
  • The Order applies to
  • All NOAA employees engaged in diving activities
    during official duty hours (i.e., when receiving
    financial compensation for work performed) and
    Non-NOAA personnel performing dives under the
    direct supervision of a NOAA Divemaster or Lead
    Diver, where compressed gas is breathed in a
    hyperbaric environment.
  • All diving activities conducted by NOAA divers
    and reciprocity partners, during official duty
    hours, regardless of the types of tasks performed
    underwater (i.e., working or scientific).

27
NAO 209-123 Exceptions
  • NOAA divers may deviate from the requirements of
    this Order provided the deviation is necessary to
    prevent or minimize a situation which is likely
    to cause death, serious physical harm, total loss
    of property, or major environmental damage and
    the Divemaster or Lead Diver notifies the NOAA
    Diving Program Manager, Line/Staff Offices Diving
    Officer, NOAA Diving Safety Officer and Unit
    Diving Supervisor of the deviation within 24
    hours of the onset of the emergency situation
    (e.g., a situation whose immediacy precludes
    otherwise required consultation and approval by
    the NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board to
    prevent, minimize or address a critical,
    time-sensitive situation which is likely to cause
    death, serious physical harm, total loss of
    property, or major environmental damage.) 

28
NAO 209-123 Stnds Procedures
  • This Order authorizes the issuance of Safety
    Manuals to augment the policies, procedures, and
    guidelines in this Order and is intended to
    maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the
    NDP by providing for the timely development and
    issuance of programmatic guidance to the NOAA
    diving community.
  • Safety Manuals shall apply to all individuals and
    Programs involved with the NDP and have the same
    force, effect, and authority as this Order.

29
Standards and Safety Manuals
  • NOAA Scientific Diving Standards and
    Safety Manual
    (NSDSSM)
  • Approved 14 August 2008
  • Covers standards, policies, and procedures
    for
    conducting scientific dives
  • NOAA Working Diving Standards and
    Safety Manual
    (NWDSSM)
  • Approved 14 July 2011
  • Covers standards, policies, and procedures
    for
    conducting working dives

30
Scientific Diving Manual
  • Administration
  • Personnel
  • Certification and Training
  • Standards and Procedures
  • Equipment
  • Medical Standards
  • Nitrox Diving
  • Staged Decompression Scuba Diving
  • Mixed Gas Diving
  • Rebreathers
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
  • Appendices

31
Working Diving Manual
  • Administration
  • Personnel
  • Certification
  • Training
  • Standards and General Procedures
  • Diving Procedures
  • Equipment
  • Medical Standards
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
  • Appendices

32
NOAA Dive Certification
  • Whos eligible to become NOAA certified to dive?
  • NOAA employees (GS, CAPS, WG, WM, and NOAA Corps)
    and contractors
  • Non-NOAA personnel (e.g., contract-employees,
    volunteers)
  • Minimum NOAA diving qualification requirements
  • Pass a NOAA diving physical examination
  • Pass a NOAA swim test
  • Pass written test(s)
  • Pass skills checkout
  • Current CPR, First Aid and Oxygen Administration

33
Classifications of NOAA divers
  • NOAA diver classifications
  • Observer Diver
  • Volunteer Diver
  • Scientific Diver
  • Working Diver
  • Advanced Working Diver
  • Master Diver
  • Scientific divers are limited to tasks associated
    with observation and data collection
  • Working divers are not limited by the tasks to be
    performed

34
Maintenance of dive certification
  • Requirements for maintaining dive certification
  • Maintain dive proficiency by

    conducting a minimum of 3

    dives per quarter
  • Maintain current CPR, First Aid,

    and Oxygen Administration
  • Pass annual watermanship

    assessment
  • Complete annual medical

    history report
  • Maintain a current diving physical
  • Age 18-47 every 5 years
  • Age 48 every 4 years
  • Age 49 every 3 years
  • Age 50-59 every 2 years
  • Age 60 every 1 year

Note Remember a dive physical is not cleared
until it has been approved by the NDC Diving
Medical Officer
35
Recertification-1
  • 3-6 month lapse diver must perform a
    training-only, basic checkout dive with the UDS
    or designee. Based on the divers performance
    during the checkout dive, the UDS may require
    additional academic or practical training in
    order to recertify.

36
Recertification-2
  • 6-12 month lapse diver must perform a
    training-only, basic checkout dive with the UDS
    or designee. LODO/SODO shall determine if the
    diver has met the recertification requirements
    and either authorize the diver to return to
    diving status or specify any additional
    requirements needed to reauthorize.
  • 12 months lapse diver must complete a refresher
    training program specified by the LODO/SODO.

37
Suspension Revocation-1
  • NOAA dive certifications may be temporarily
    suspended or permanently revoked for cause by the
    NDPM, LODO/SODO, UDS, or on-site DM.
  • Examples of infractions leading to temporary
    suspension
  • Failure to comply with requirements for
    maintaining certification
  • Improperly using or maintaining NOAA-provided
    diving equipment
  • Failure to comply with the standards, policies
    and procedures
  • Reporting to the dive station mentally or
    physically impaired due to alcohol or other
    substance abuse
  • Surfacing from a dive with less than 500 psi in
    scuba cylinders

38
Suspension Revocation-2
  • Examples of infractions leading to revocation
  • Flagrant violation of NOAA standards,
    regulations, and policies (e.g., diving solo
    without a tender, diving after notification of a
    lapsed physical exam without obtaining
    reauthorization) or
  • A not-fit-for-dive duty determination has been
    made by the Chair, NDMRB, following the
    conclusion of an Individualized Assessment (See
    NOAA Diving Medical Standards and Procedures
    Manual).

39
Appeal Process
  • Suspended divers may appeal the decision to the
    NDCSB within 30 days of receipt of notification.
  • Terminated divers may appeal the decision to the
    OMAO Director within 30 days of receipt of
    notification.

40
Use of NOAA-Issued Dive Gear
  • NOAA divers must use the following NOAA-issued
    equipment on all duty dives
  • Regulator set, depth and pressure gauges
  • Reserve Air Supply System
  • Buoyancy compensator
  • NOAA divers may use NOAA-issued equipment for
    non-duty dives provided they
  • Sign NOAA Diver Agreement for Off-Duty Use and
    Liability Waiver
  • Complete Off-Duty Proficiency Skills Checklist

Note Use of personal BCs are considered on a
case-by-case basis
41
Reciprocity
  • Reciprocity allows NOAA divers to dive with these
    pre-approved institutions and vice-versa. NOAA
    has reciprocity with over 100 non-NOAA
    institutions and organizations
  • NOAA divers needing to dive with a reciprocity
    organization must complete and email a Request
    for
    Letter of Reciprocity to Jennifer Carriere
    at
    the NDC a minimum of 1-week prior to dive
    operations
  • Reciprocity divers needing to dive with NOAA must
    present a signed Letter of Reciprocity from the
    reciprocity divers Diving Safety Officer to the
    NOAA Unit Diving Supervisor

Form available at www.ndc.noaa.gov
42
Reportable Injuries
  • All work-related injuries, whether the direct, or
    indirect result of diving, must be reported in
    compliance with DOC and NOAA policies
  • Examples of reportable diving injuries include
  • Fatalities
  • Injuries requiring recompression therapy
  • Injuries, whether work-related or not, requiring
    hospitalization or that otherwise may affect an
    individuals fitness to dive
  • Any injury requiring more than basic first-aid,
    or hospitalization of any kind must be reported
    to the UDS/NDC!

43
Other Reportable Incidents
  • Occasionally incidents occur that do not result
    in a reportable injury, but that nevertheless may
    warrant awareness by NDP officials
  • Examples include
  • Equipment malfunction or failure (e.g., ScubaPro
    regulator)
  • Near miss or close call incidents that could
    have resulted in a fatality or serious injury
  • Evidence of poor judgment by a NOAA diver

44
Diver Responsibilities-1
  • Adheres to the standards contained within this
    manual when conducting working dives.
  • Refuses to dive when in their judgment conditions
    are unsafe, or if they would be violating the
    precepts of their training or the requirements in
    this manual.
  • Maintains good physical condition and a high
    level of diving proficiency.
  • Reports to the DM or LD any changes of a physical
    or psychological nature that may adversely impact
    their or their buddys fitness to dive.
  • Will not begin or continue a dive if problems
    exist of a physical or psychological nature that
    can compromise the safety of the diver or dive
    team.

45
Diver Responsibilities-1
  • Ensures diving equipment used is maintained in a
    safe operating condition.
  • Is accountable for NOAA-issued equipment.
  • Adheres to the buddy system, actively monitors
    buddy status including, but not limited to,
    cylinder pressure, and intervenes to the maximum
    extent practicable to ensure the safety of the
    dive team.
  • Refrains from the use of illegal drugs.

46
NDP Safety Rules
  • No solo diving
  • A Designated Person-In-Charge and standby
    diver must be topside for all working dives
  • A support person must be topside for all
    scientific dives, and a standby diver must be
    topside for all science dives and prepared to
    render assistance unless otherwise authorized by
    the Unit Diving Supervisor
  • Diving depths are limited to 130 feet unless
    approved by the NOAA Diving Control Safety
    Board (NDCSB) and diving is limited to the USN
    no-decompression limits unless approved by the
    NDCSB
  • Over-bottom dives require direct reference with
    surface

47
NDP Safety Rules cont.
  • Dives beyond a comfortable swimming distance from
    shore, in current and/or arduous egress require a
    support boat and operator/tender
  • A means must be available to safely remove an
    injured diver from the water
  • Form 64-3 Dive Safe Ship Operations Checklist
    is to be used during ship-related dive activities
  • The location, means of accessibility, and contact
    information for the nearest operational
    recompression chamber must be obtained before
    diving

48
NDP Safety Rules cont.
  • All divers must be trained and current in CPR,
    first aid, and oxygen administration
  • Oxygen resuscitator for non-breathing victim must
    be on-site
  • Use of dive equipment other than open-circuit
    scuba and/or breathing mixtures other than air or
    nitrox, requires approval of the NDCSB
  • Air compressors must be tested for air quality
    every 6 months
  • Regulators will be inspected and overhauled
    annually

49
NDP Safety Rules cont.
  • Scuba cylinders inspected annually and
    hydrostatically tested every five (5) years
    (Stickers available from NDC)
  • Minimum diver-worn equipment required includes
    floatation device, depth gauge, pressure gauge,
    dive timer, and alternate air source
  • Equipment used with breathing gases containing
    gt40 oxygen must be cleaned and maintained for
    oxygen service
  • NOAA certified divers shall undergo yearly
    refresher training in oxygen administration,
    recognition treatment of diving accidents and
    injuries, and decompression tables, and conduct
    in-water rescue exercises (on NDC website and
    MOCDOCs)

50
NDP Safety Rules cont.
  • Two-way communications capable of contacting
    emergency assistance from the dive site
  • The NOAA Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) must be
    worn on all OSHA working dives and on selected
    NOAA scientific dives.
  • A formal written dive plan must be completed and
    submitted to the appropriate Unit Diving
    Supervisor, or his designee, for review, approval
    and signature prior to each separate dive
    operation.

51
NDP Safety Rules cont.
  • A copy of the Dive Accident Management Plan must
    be submitted to the appropriate Unit Diving
    Supervisor, or his designee, for review and
    approval prior to each separate dive operation.
  • A formal written pre- and post-dive checklist
    must be completed by the on-site Divemaster or
    Lead Diver prior to each diving day.
  • A formal pre- and post-dive briefing must be
    completed prior to and at the completion of each
    dive by the Divemaster or Lead Diver.

52
NDP Safety Rules cont.
  • All divers must surface from dives with a minimum
    of 500 psi in their scuba cylinders. Failure to
    do so will result in temporary suspension.
  • All NOAA divers must demonstrate basic dive
    proficiency by completing a checkout dive and
    in-water rescue skills, including the retrieval
    of an unconscious diver from the water to a
    vessel or shore, twice a year.

53
OSHA DIVING REGULATIONS
54
Background overiew
  • In 1978, Occupational Safety Health
    Administration (OSHA) implemented
    regulations governing commercial
    diving operations
  • Applies to all NOAA employees performing
    dives on official work
    time
  • Specific requirements covering all
    aspects of diving (e.g.
    equipment, air requirements,
    safety and operational procedures)
  • Extremely limiting for scuba operations

55
Scuba diving highlights
  • Max depth 130 fsw, dives gt100 fsw, outside
    no-deco limits, or using mixed-gas (e.g. nitrox)
    require a chamber on-site
  • Requires a standby diver plus topside supervisor
    for all dives
  • 1 diver requires 1 standby diver 1 supervisor
    3 total
  • 2 divers require 1 standby diver 1 supervisor
    4 total
  • Requires a diver-carried, independent gas supply
    for emergency breathing
  • Breathing media limited to compressed air
  • Requires diver(s) be line-tended in current gt1
    knot

56
Exemptions
  • In 1984, OSHA granted exemption to their diving
    regulations for certain limited activities - 29
    CFR 1910
  • Instructional purposes (e.g. NAUI, PADI, SSI,
    YMCA) for open-circuit, no-decompression air
    diving only
  • Search, rescue, and public safety by a government
    agency
  • Research, development, or related purposes on
    human subjects
  • Scientific diving under the control of a diving
    program

57
Scientific exemption
  • Requirements
  • A Diving Safety Manual covering operational
    emergency procedures, and diver training and
    certification criteria
  • A Diving Control Board with the majority of its
    members being active divers
  • Limitations
  • The tasks of a scientific diver are those of an
    observer and data gatherer
  • Does not include tasks traditionally associated
    with commercial diving

58
Scope of scientific Exemption
  • OSHA Scientific Exemption does not regulate
  • Maximum depth of a scientific dive
  • Type of equipment worn on a scientific dive (e.g.
    open-circuit, closed-circuit, surface-supplied)
  • Breathing gas medium used on a scientific dive
    (e.g. air,
    nitrox, heliox, trimix)
  • NOAA Diving Program meets the requirements
    for the scientific
    diving exemption since it has
  • NOAA Scientific Diving Standards Safety
    Manual, and
  • Diving Control Safety Board

59
Exemption requirements
  • In order to qualify for the scientific exemption,
    certain criterion must be met.
  • The following list of questions is presented to
    help NOAA divers and their supervisors determine
    whether underwater tasks constitute a scientific
    dive.
  • A negative answer to any one of these questions
    would potentially disqualify the task from being
    conducted under the exemption.

60
Exemption requirements cont.
  • Can the tasks be accomplished using simple hand
    tools (e.g., small hammers, pliers, chisels,
    wrenches, cameras, measuring tapes, nets,
    collection jars) weighing lt25 pounds underwater?
  • Do the tasks require the expertise of a scientist
    or scientist-in-training?
  • Can the tasks be accomplished with minimal
    physical exertion?

61
Exemption requirements cont.
  • Can the tasks be accomplished in short duration
    (e.g., lt1-hour) per dive?
  • Do the tasks involve observation of natural
    phenomena or responses of natural systems and/or
    gathering of data for scientific analysis?
  • If the tasks require moving or lifting objects,
    do the objects weigh lt100 pounds underwater?
  • Will the tasks result in the advancement of
    science?

62
Non-exempt tasks
  • NOAA divers may be required to perform both
    scientific and commercial diving tasks
  • Typical non-scientific tasks include
  • Ship husbandry
  • Placing removing heavy objects
  • Underwater cutting
  • Use of power tools or hand tools
  • Heavy salvage
  • Construction

63
Compliance
  • When performing commercial diving tasks, the OSHA
    Diving Regulations must be followed
  • Remember, when using scuba equipment for
    non-scientific diving tasks
  • Breathing gas limited to compressed air
  • Must have a reserve breathing supply
  • Cannot dive gt100 fsw or outside no-decompression
    limits
  • Must have two people topside-- standby diver and
    Divemaster
  • Standby divers must be accompanied by another
    diver or line tended
  • Must line tend diver(s) in currents greater than
    1 knot

64
Compliance cont.
  • Failure to comply with OSHA commercial diving
    regulations exposes federal programs to written
    citations and non-federal programs to monetary
    fines
  • It is the responsibility of every NOAA diver to
    know and comply with the NOAA and OSHA diving
    regulations

65
Key Points - 1
  • NOAA divers must adhere to both the NOAA and OSHA
    diving regulations
  • All NOAA employees and non-NOAA employees using
    NOAA dive gear or diving from NOAA owned vessels
    are subject to the NOAA diving regulations
  • The NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board
    establishes policies and standards for the NDP
  • The NOAA Diving Medical Review Board makes
    recommendations concerning medical standards and
    policies

66
Key Points - 2
  • NOAA diver classifications include Observer,
    Scientific, Working, Advanced Working, and Master
    diver
  • The primary difference between scientific diver
    and working diver is the tasks that they are
    authorized to perform
  • Maintenance of diving certification requires
    regular performance of dives, physical exams, and
    CPR, First Aid, and oxygen administration
    training
  • Failure to meet dive proficiency requirements
    results in temporary suspension pending
    completion of a recertification program

67
Key Points - 3
  • Certifications may be temporarily suspended or
    revoked for non-compliance with applicable
    regulations, standards and policies
  • Divers must log official duty dives
  • NOAA divers may use SEP dive equipment for
    non-duty dives
  • NOAA federal employees are eligible for dive pay
  • All diving incidents are required to be reported
  • NDP has reciprocity with many other diving
    programs

68
Key Points - 4
  • Any injury requiring more than basic first-aid,
    or hospitalization of any kind must be reported
    to the UDS/NDC
  • Some NOAA divers perform work that falls outside
    the OSHA scientific exemption, and therefore must
    comply with the OSHA commercial diving
    regulations
  • OSHA commercial diving regulations require
    equipment and topside support beyond that
    required by the NDP
  • The NOAA Scientific Diving Standards Safety
    Manual prescribes standards for scientific dives.
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