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WO AMENDMENT 4209.11-2012-1

EFFECTIVE DATE: 03/27/2012

DURATION: This amendment is effective until superseded or removed.


4209.11_10

Page of



FSH 4209.11 - wildlife, fish, water, and air research handbook

Chapter 10 - diving and snorkeling Safe Practices



Table of Contents


11 - DIVING AND SNORKELING 3

11.01 - Authority 3

11.02 - Objective 3

11.03 - Policy 3

11.04 - Responsibility 4

11.04a - Washington Office, Deputy Chief for Research and Development 4

11.04b - Deputy Chief’s Representative for Diving Safety 4

11.04c - National Diving Safety Officer 5

11.04d - Diving Technical Advisor 5

11.04e - Liaison, Office of Safety and Occupational Health 5

11.04f - Diving Control Board 5

11.04g - Regional Foresters and Station Directors 7

11.04h - Regional Diving Safety Officers 7

11.04i - Forest Supervisors and Laboratory Line Officers 8

11.04j - Unit Diving Safety Officers 8

11.04k - Lead Divers 9

11.04l - Divers 10

11.05 - Definitions 11

11.06 - References 12

12 - CERTIFICATION 13

12.1 - Snorkeling 14

12.2 - Free Diving 17

12.3 - Diver-in-Training 22

12.4 - Scientific Diver 23

12.5 - Commercial Diver 24

12.6 - Depth Certifications 24

12.7 - Continuation of Certification 25

12.8 - Restriction or Revocation of Certification 25

12.9 - Recertification 26



13 - DIVING STANDARDS 26

13.1 - Sanctioned Diving 26

13.2 - Pre-Dive Procedures 28

13.3 - Pre-Dive Safety Checks 29

13.4 - Diving Procedures 30

13.5 - Tasks Specific to Commercial Diving 31

13.6 - Post-Dive Procedures 31

13.7 - Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements 31

13.8 - Waiver of Diving Standards 33

14 - DIVING EQUIPMENT 33

14.1- Auxiliary Equipment 36

14.2 - Support Equipment 36

14.3- Equipment Maintenance and Tracking 38

14.4 - Air Quality Standards 38

15 - MEDICAL STANDARDS 40

15.1 - General 40

15.2 - Conditions for Restriction from Diving 40

15.3 - Frequency of Medical Evaluations 40

15.4 - Information Provided to Physicians 40

15.5 - Content of Medical Evaluations 41

15.6 - Requirements for Diving Medical Examinations 41

15.7 - Physician's Written Report 41



16 - CONTRACT DIVING OPERATIONS 41

16.1 - General 41

16.2 - Dive Operations Plans 41

16.3 - Pre-Dive Conferences and Briefings 43

16.4 - Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements 43




11 - DIVING AND SNORKELING

The Forest Service Diving Program is comprised of four types of activities:

1. Snorkeling.

2. Free diving.

3. Scientific diving.

4. Commercial diving.


Electronic information about the dive program is also located at:
http://fsweb.chenic.r9.fs.fed.us/safety/DivingProgram/Diving_index.shtml

11.01 - Authority


1. Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, part 1910, Subpart T (29 CFR part 1910, Subpart T). This authority sets forth the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and additional requirements specific to commercial diving.

2. Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, part 1910, Subpart T, Appendix B (29 CFR part 1910, Subpart T, Appendix B). This authority sets forth the OSHA guidelines and additional requirements specific to scientific diving.


11.02 - Objective

To ensure the safety and health of all Forest Service divers who engage in snorkeling, free diving, scientific diving, and commercial diving for the Forest Service.


11.03 - Policy


1. The Forest Service Diving Program is designed to ensure that all diving under the auspices of the Forest Service is conducted in a manner that maximizes protection of divers from accidental injury, illness, or death. This includes:

a. Diving must not be conducted unless procedures have been established for emergency evacuation of divers to a hyperbaric chamber or other appropriate medical facility.

b. All diving must be planned and executed in such a manner as to ensure that every diver maintains constant, effective communication with at least one other comparably trained and/or equipped diver in the water (surface supplied diving excluded), or onshore for snorkeling.

c. All regions, stations, forests, and laboratories with diving programs must prepare an annual report and review of all diving activities and submit the reports to the National Diving Safety Officer and Diving Control Board.


11.04 - Responsibility

11.04a - Washington Office, Deputy Chief for Research and Development

The Washington Office, Deputy Chief for Research and Development shall:

1. Consider recommendations from the Diving Control Board concerning policy and operation of the Forest Service Diving Program.

2. Resolve national issues, concerns, and policy conflicts relating to the Forest Service Diving Program and associated operations that affect the employee’s safety, health, and work environment.

3. Grant waivers of diving standards in accordance with sections 12.1, 12.2, and 13.8 of this handbook, based on recommendations of the Diving Control Board.

4. Designate a Deputy Chief’s representative for diving safety.


11.04b - Deputy Chief’s Representative for Diving Safety

The Deputy Chief’s representative for diving safety shall:

1. Provide overall program leadership and safety oversight for the Forest Service Diving Program.

2. Suspend diving operations that are considered unsafe or unwise.

3. Determine and approve other designated Forest Service representatives to the Diving Control Board in collaboration with the regional diving safety officers.

4. Serve as liaison between the Diving Control Board and the Washington Office, Deputy Chief of Research and Development.


11.04c - National Diving Safety Officer

The National Diving Safety Officer shall:

1. Suspend diving operations that are considered unsafe or unwise.

2. Serve as a voting member on the Diving Control Board regarding policy recommendations to the Washington Office, Director, Office of Safety and Occupational Health.

3. Determine and approve other designated representatives to the Diving Control Board in collaboration with the regional diving safety officers.

4. Convene the annual national Forest Service Diving Workshop.

5. Represent the Forest Service on interagency diving safety boards.

11.04d - Diving Technical Advisor

The diving technical advisor shall:

1. Advise the Diving Control Board on technical issues, problems, regulatory interpretations, and other diving matters, as requested.

2. Assist with special projects and activities that promote diving program management, as necessary, when requested or authorized by the Diving Control Board.


11.04e - Liaison, Office of Safety and Occupational Health

The liaison is appointed by the Director of the Office of Safety and Occupational Health. The liaison shall:

1. Advise the Diving Control Board on technical safety and health issues, problems, regulatory interpretations, and other safety matters, as requested.

2. Assist with special projects and activities that promote diving program safety, as necessary, when requested or authorized by the Diving Control Board.


11.04f - Diving Control Board

The Diving Control Board (sec. 11.05) shall:

1. Execute operational control of the Forest Service Diving Program.

2. Provide operational, technical, and safety oversight of Forest Service divers, including regions, stations, forests, laboratories, and law enforcement, when diving is conducted.

3. Serve as an official representative of the Forest Service in matters concerning the Forest Service Diving Program.

4. Serve as a board of appeal on diver certification suspensions and related issues.

5. Recommend the issuance or reissuance of Forest Service diving certifications.

6. Recommend Forest Service Diving Program policy, operational requirements, and training that promote safety, efficiency, and expertise.

7. Advise the Washington Office, Deputy Chief’s representative for diving safety and the liaison for Safety and Occupational Health of any circumstances affecting the safety and efficiency of the Forest Service Diving Program.

8. Establish and/or approve dive training programs through which applicants can satisfy certification requirements found in section 12 of this handbook.

9. Establish criteria for equipment selection, approval, and use.

10. Recommend and approve new equipment, techniques, and practices.

11. Review all specialized diving operations beyond the provisions outlined in this section, or recommend the establishment of a review committee for these projects and activities.

12. Establish and/or approve programs for inspection and maintenance of diving apparatus and associated equipment.

13. Review regional diving program management and performance.

14. Investigate all reported Forest Service diving accidents, and potentially dangerous incidents, and recommend preventative measures, as required.

15. Serve on accident investigation teams and boards of review involving diving accidents and serious incidents.

16. Attend the annual National Forest Service Diving Workshop.

17. Participate in scheduled region, station, and Area safety manager conference calls.

11.04g - Regional Foresters and Station Directors

Regional foresters and station directors with a diving program shall:

1. Appoint a regional diving safety officer based on recommendations of the Diving Control Board.

2. Ensure that sufficient resources are available to manage a safe and effective regional diving program.


11.04h - Regional Diving Safety Officers

Regional diving safety officers shall:

1. Administer the Forest Service Diving Program at the regional level, which includes support to research stations and state and private forestry units.

2. Ensure operational performance of regional diving programs to include:

a. Training and certification records.

b. Diving plans.

c. Diving records.

d. Comply with direction in sections 11 through 13 and other applicable Forest Service direction.

3. Serve as a voting member of the Diving Control Board.

4. Comply with the direction of the Diving Control Board.

5. Delegate portions of the regional diving program to qualified employees, as appropriate.

6. Maintain scientific or commercial diver status, knowledge of diving techniques, and Forest Service Diving Program directives, procedures, and practices.

7. Report any physical problems or adverse physiological effects, including symptoms of pressure-related injuries, to the National Diving Safety Officer and Diving Control Board.

8. Restrict or revoke diver certifications in accordance with section 12.1, 12.2, and 12.7 of this handbook.

9. Suspend diving operations that are considered unsafe or unwise.

10. Prepare an annual report and review of diving activities and submit the report to the National Diving Safety Officer and Diving Control Board.


11.04i - Forest Supervisors and Laboratory Line Officers

The forest supervisor and laboratory line officer on each forest or lab with a diving program shall:

1. Appoint a unit diving safety officer based on recommendations of the regional diving safety officer.

2. Provide sufficient resources for implementing a safe and effective diving program.

3. All regions, stations, forests, and laboratories with diving programs must prepare an annual report and review of all diving activities and submit the reports to the National Diving Safety Officer and Diving Control Board.

11.04j - Unit Diving Safety Officers

Unit diving safety officers shall:

1. Administer the Forest Service Diving Program at the unit level.

2. Ensure operational compliance of the unit diving program to include:

a. Conducting training and certification.

b. Approving diving plans.

c. Completing a risk assessment.

d. Maintaining diving records.

e. Complying with applicable Forest Service direction.

3. Comply with the direction of the Diving Control Board.

4. Maintain Forest Service diver certification to a level commensurate with the unit’s diving program.

5. Maintain knowledge of diving techniques and Forest Service Diving Program directives, procedures, and practices.

6. Report to the regional diving safety officer any diving related physical problems or adverse physiological effects, including symptoms of pressure-related injuries. This is in addition to any normal accident reporting procedures.

7. Suspend diving operations that are considered unsafe or unwise.

8. Conduct necessary dive/snorkel training in collaboration with the regional diving safety officer.

11.04k - Lead Divers

Lead divers shall:

1. Maintain Forest Service diver certification in accordance with the Forest Service Diving Program standards.

2. Maintain knowledge of diving techniques and Forest Service Diving Program directives, procedures, and practices.

3. Coordinate with other known projects and activities in the vicinity that are likely to interfere with diving operations prior to the commencement of the dive.

4. Ensure that all dive team members possess and maintain current certifications and are qualified for the type of diving operation to be executed.

5. Plan dives in accordance with section 13 of this handbook.

6. Ensure that safety and emergency equipment is operable and on-hand at the dive site prior to each dive.

7. Brief dive team members on:

a. Dive objectives, including a review of the applicable risk assessments.

b. Environmental conditions or unusual hazards likely to affect the safety of the diving operation.

c. Modifications to diving or emergency procedures and mitigation factors necessitated by the specific diving operation and/or identified hazards.

8. Suspend diving operations when conditions are unsafe or unwise.

9. Report to the unit diving safety officer any self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving related physical problems or adverse physiological effects, including symptoms of pressure-related injuries in addition to any normal incident reporting procedures.

10. Ensure that air supplies meet air quality standards as set out in section 13 of this handbook.

11. Ensure diving equipment that is subjected to extreme usage under adverse conditions receives more testing and maintenance beyond annual requirements.


11.04l - Divers

The Forest Service does not employ full time divers or diving safety personnel. Forest Service personnel employed in other capacities, diver and diver safety must be collateral duties.


Divers shall:

1. Possess and maintain current diving certifications and proficiency, and maintain qualifications for the type of diving operation to be executed.

2. Plan dives in accordance with section 13 of this handbook.

3. Ensure that safety and emergency equipment is operable and on-hand at the dive site prior to each dive.

4. Dive to no more than the authorized depth limits for which they are certified.

5. Suspend diving operations when conditions are unsafe or unwise.

6. Report to the lead diver any physical problems or adverse physiological effects, including symptoms of pressure-related injuries.

7. Conduct functional checks of their diving equipment in the presence of the diving buddy or tender.

8. Refuse to dive, if in their judgment the dive conditions are perceived as unfavorable or would violate the precepts of training or the requirements of this section.

9. Make use of the “buddy system.” This "buddy system" is based upon mutual assistance, especially in the case of an emergency. All divers shall surface and re-establish contact, if loss of effective communications occurs within a buddy team.


11.05 - Definitions


Blue Water Diving. Diving in open water where the bottom is generally greater than 200 feet deep that requires special training and the use of multiple-tethered diving techniques.

Commercial Diver. A diver who has completed all requirements and certifications in section 12.5 of this handbook.

Commercial Diving. Diving performed as a necessary part of an activity by employees whose sole purpose for diving is to perform commercial tasks. Included within this definition of commercial diving are construction and trouble-shooting tasks traditionally associated with commercial diving, such as placing or removing heavy objects underwater, inspection of pipelines and similar objects, construction, or the inspection of structures.

Designated Person In Charge. An individual at the dive location in charge of all aspects of the diving operation affecting the safety and health of dive team members and is experienced and trained in the conduct of the assigned diving operation.

Dive. A descent into the water, an underwater diving activity utilizing compressed gas, and ascent, and return to the surface.

Diver-in-Training. A diver who has completed a minimum of 40 hours of training with at least five ocean- or open-water dives, and who possesses a nationally or internationally recognized diving certification.

Diving Control Board. A board consisting of the National Diving Safety Officer, diving technical advisor, and the regional diving safety officers whose majority consists of active divers employed by the Forest Service having operational control of the Forest Service Diving Program.

Forest Service Auspices. Any diving operation, project, or activity that involves Forest Service employees performing within the scope of their employment for the purpose of either furthering scientific data gathering or performing commercial tasks.

Free Diving (also called Breath-Hold Diving). Water immersion with mask and snorkel with or without fins, but with no pressurized gas supply, and occurs from 0- to 30-foot depths. Free diving includes both snorkeling and free diving.

Scientific Diver. A diver who has completed all requirements and certifications in section 12.4 of this handbook.

Scientific Diving. Diving performed as a necessary part of a scientific, research, or educational activity by employees whose sole purpose for diving is to perform scientific data gathering. The tasks of a Scientific Diver are those of an observer and data gatherer. Not included within this definition of scientific diving are construction and trouble-shooting tasks traditionally associated with commercial diving, such as placing or removing heavy objects underwater; inspection of pipelines and similar objects; construction; demolition; cutting or welding; or use of explosives. Scientific divers, based on the nature of their activities, must use scientific expertise in studying the underwater environment, and therefore, are scientists or scientists-in-training.

Scientific Diving Exemption. An exemption granted by OSHA from its commercial diving regulations for scientific diving under the guidelines stated in Appendix B to 29 CFR 1910, Subpart T.

Scuba. Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Snorkeling. Snorkeling is water immersion that is surface focused and vertical migration is limited to the body length of the snorkeler. (Basically a snorkeler breathes all the time.)

11.06 - References


1. Blue Water Diving Guidelines. California Sea Grant Publication No. T-CSGCP-014.

2. Cold Water Diving: a Guide to Ice Diving. John N. Heine. Best Publishing Company. Flagstaff AZ.

3. Diving and Subaquatic Medicine. Fourth Edition, 2002. C. Edmonds, C. Lowery, J. Pennefather, and R.Walker. Oxford University Press Inc. New York, NY.

4. Diving Medicine. Third Edition, 1997. A. Bove and J. Davis. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia.

5. Guidelines for Conduct of Research Diving, 1990. National Science Foundation, Division of Polar Programs.

6. Inspecting Cylinders SCUBA & SCBA, Fourth Edition 2001. William L. High. Professional Scuba Inspectors, Inc., Kenmore, Washington.

7. Medical Examination of Sport SCUBA Divers, Third Edition 1998. Alfred Bore, M.D., Ph.D. Medical Seminars, Inc., One Elm Place, Suite 204, 11107 Wurzbach, San Antonio, TX 78230.

8. NOAA Diving Manual, Revision 4. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

9. Physician's Guide to Diving Medicine. C.W. Shilling, C.B. Carlston, and R.A. Mathias. Plenum Press, New York, NY.

10. SCUBA Diving Safety and Health. C.W. Deuker. Madison Publishing Associates, Diving Safety Digest, P.O. Box 2735, Menlo Park, CA 94026.

11. U.S. Navy Diving Manual. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. The American Academy of Underwater Sciences: Standards for Scientific Diving Web site “http://www.aaus.org/

12. Underwater Inspection of Bridges. Report No. FHWA-DP-80-1, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC.



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