Routine for diving at bfe



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Routine for diving at BFE

Approved by: Faculty Director

Date: 30.06.2015

Archive ref.:










  1. Introduction




    1. Purpose and scope

This routine was prepared with the purpose of providing clear safety regulations for the planning and execution of diving at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE), and to establish and maintain an adequate level of safety. Furthermore, the routine shall ensure that all diving activities carried out at BFE are performed in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations. This routine applies to all employees, guest researchers and students who perform diving activities at BFE.

The scope of this routine is all diving activity under the auspices of BFE, UiT.

Managers at all levels are responsible for ensuring that this routine is put into effect and followed up within their areas of responsibility.

Managers, employees, students and guest researchers are obliged to act in accordance with the provisions of this routine.




    1. Responsibility for the routines

The diving manager at BFE is responsible for ensuring that everyone who performs diving activities under the auspices of BFE is informed about this routine.


This routine is rooted in the Regulations concerning Organisation, Management and Employee Participation, the Regulations concerning the Performance of Work and the Regulations concerning Administrative Arrangements.

2 Distribution of responsibility
2.1 Introduction
Diving presupposes good planning and a clear distribution of responsibilities and obligations. Particular responsibility lies with the contractor, person responsible for diving and the diving supervisor. These people shall assess the capacity, the divers’ qualifications and training levels against the nature of the assignment, so that measures to avoid possible accidents are able to be initiated. In particular, it is assumed that the diving supervisor and the individual divers comply with the current procedures and safety regulations.
The diving supervisor is at all times responsible for assessing risk factors and how the dive is executed, and interrupt the dive if it is not safe to continue.
2.1.2 Technical responsibility
The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority is responsible for publishing and updating regulations for diving.

2.1.3 Technical adviser, diving medicine
The employer shall ensure that a diving medical physician who can provide advice concerning physiological, medical and hygiene factors that are of importance for the health and safety of the divers. The diving medical physician affiliated with BFE, UiT is the technical adviser for matters relating to diving medicine and is responsible for:

  • Approving the health condition in accordance with medical examinations for divers and the issuing of medical certificates for the divers

  • Reporting of any injuries to BFE, UiT, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and the National Insurance Service


2.1.4 The employer’s responsibility
BFE is the employer for divers employed at the faculty, and shall ensure that:

  • before being initiated, diving operations are planned, risk assessed and measures are implemented so that the diving operation can be performed safely

  • based on the risk assessment, prepare safety procedures for safe diving

  • an emergency response plan is prepared covering manning, equipment and emergency procedures

  • the diving supervisor and other participants in the diving operation are qualified for the tasks they shall perform

  • all concerned are informed about current safety regulations and that they confirm in writing that they have been informed about this information.

  • All the diving equipment to be used is in a condition that fulfils the statutory requirements

The person responsible for diving has administrative responsibility for following up the employer’s obligations in accordance with the Working Environment Act, the regulations and internal routines.



2.1.5 Diving management
BFE shall have a diving manager at all times. The diving manager is responsible for the diving activities at BFE. The diving manager must hold a class B diving certificate and have completed a diving supervisor course. The diving manager is appointed by the BFE faculty management.

The diving manager is responsible for:



  • Issuing work instructions for diving assignments

  • Training and competence plan, and documentation of this

  • Quality assuring the diving supervisor’s competence

  • Ensuring that everyone has a valid diving certificate and medical certificate

  • Sending an annual report of the diving activities

  • Ensuring that the diving equipment is approved for the diving assignment and that all routines concerning maintenance of the equipment have been followed

  • as a particular responsibility for assessing risk factors for diving

  • The divers’ level of training


2.1.6 Diving supervisor
The diving manager is responsible for the overall training, instruction, competence and risk assessment for the diving assignment, while the diving supervisor is responsible for the safety during the execution of the individual operation.
By adopting these routines, the employer has provided regulations of how the facility shall execute safe diving. Moreover, the employer has prepared a manual for the diving supervisor, which includes an emergency preparedness plan and a check list for safe execution of diving operations to provide support for the diving supervisor.
During the execution of diving operations, the diving supervisor is responsible for:

  • Planning

  • Notification, cf. Section 2.6.9

  • Ensure that external and internal regulations are followed

  • Choice of dive profile

  • Ensuring that a log is kept of the diving operation

  • Satisfy themselves that the line attendant, boatswain and other health personnel have the necessary qualifications and are familiar with their tasks

  • Checking the diver(s) before the diving starts

  • Checking the diving supervisor’s equipment before the diving starts, cf. Section 2.5.1

  • Inform contractors (if any) about special conditions or risk factors before the diving starts



2.1.7 Diver
The diver shall:

  • Satisfy themselves that the relevant equipment has undergone the necessary inspections

  • Check their own equipment before every dive and satisfy themselves that it is in satisfactory working order

  • Ensure they are checked by the diving supervisor before the diving starts

  • Report any faults or defects to the diving supervisor immediately on discovery of such

  • Provide feedback if he/she does not feel qualified for the task

  • Not dive of he/she is under the influence/has aftereffects of intoxicants or their general condition is otherwise reduced, including in the event of seasickness

  • Not exceed the planned depth

  • Report any irregularities or nonconformity from the planned dive profile to the diving supervisor after the dive

2.2 Training and qualification requirements

2.2.1 Introduction
All divers shall have undergone requisite theoretical and practical training and instruction in diving and emergency procedures, as well as in the correct use and maintenance of the equipment they normally use.

2.2.2 Diving certificate
The diving certificate states the type of equipment and depth the diver is certified for.

Class S: inspection dive down to a depth of 30 m

Class A: simple and light work down to a depth of 30 m

Class B: Commercial diving certificate. Working down to a depth of 50 m (surface supplied diving) / 39 m (scuba diving)



2.2.3 Maintenance of qualifications
Vessels/departments with diving personnel are obliged to facilitate their divers achieving the status as experienced divers and then undergo regular diving training (minimum four dives during the final six months with the type of equipment that is relevant). Recreational diving may be approved upon presentation of a dive log.

2.2.4 Requalification
Divers who have not fulfilled the above-mentioned qualification requirements may execute the number of dives they lack as training dives or undergo skills approval to confirm their requalification before they are permitted to resume diving operations.

2.3 Health and environment

2.3.1 Medical examination and health requirements
Everyone who is going to dive must undergo an annual medical examination for divers. The employer may only use divers who have a valid medical certificate. The medical certificate must be issued by a physician approved by the Norwegian Directorate of Health. Such medical certificates shall be valid for one year. Confirmation of valid medical certificate must be sent to the employer.

2.3.2 Diving injury / diving prohibition
In certain circumstances, diving injuries can result in the person being prohibited from diving. In such cases, the injured person may not dive until he/she gains a new approval from the diving medical physician.

2.3.3 Illness / injury
If a diver has an illness or injury that may be aggravated by continued diving, or may reduce safety, the diving medical physician should be consulted.
2.3.4 After absence due to illness
In the event of absence due to illness beyond 14 days, the diving medical physician should be consulted being diving is resumed.
2.3.5 Requirements for breathing gasses for diving
Requirements relating to gas quality and controlling of breathing gas are stipulated in the regulations: Regulations concerning the performance of work, use of work equipment and related technical requirements.
2.3.6 Pollution
The diver must be given satisfactory protection against any pollution.

2.3.7 Heat balance
Protective equipment shall be chosen that provides the diver with satisfactory heat balance.

2.3.8 Nutrition and fluid balance
When planning long and/or exerting dives, or when diving in tropical water, special attention must be given to the diver’s nutritional status and fluid balance with the supply of sufficient food and drink.

2.3.9 Physical exercise after diving
Hard physical activity after diving increases the risk of decompression sickness. For this reason, the diver should avoid hard physical activity for three hours after completing the dive.

2.3.10 Intoxicants
Diving under the influence/aftereffects of intoxicants can pose serious consequences for the diver’s life and health. Alcohol and other intoxicants must not be consumed less than eight hours before diving. If the diver has taken anaesthetics or stimulants (medicines, etc.) less than 24 hours before diving, he/she is obliged to notify the diving supervisor of this. In such cases, the diving supervisor shall consult with a physician if he/she is in doubt about whether diving may be permitted.

2.4 Requirement for diving equipment

2.4.1 Introduction
All breathing systems must be approved in accordance with the regulations: Regulations concerning the performance of work, use of work equipment and related technical requirements.

2.4.2 Inspection and maintenance
BFE shall only use an approved service workshop for inspection and maintenance of diving equipment.
2.4.3 Minimum equipment
In Norwegian waters, or under equivalent conditions, the following minimum equipment requirements apply for the various types of diving:

Scuba diving

- Diving suit complete

- Full-face diving mask with demand valve and mouth-nose mask

- Flippers

- Scuba set with reserve air and notification

- Manometer

- Breathing valve

- System for emergency ascent that ensures positive buoyancy

- Depth gauge and watch

- Diving knife

- Umbilical / buddy line

- Voice communication


Surface supplied diving

- Reserve tank with minimum supply of 1400 normal litres of breathing gas

- Diving suit complete

- Full-face diving mask with demand valve and mouth-nose mask

- Flippers or weighted boots

- Depth gauge and watch

- Diving knife

- Safety belt or equivalent to attach umbilical

- Umbilical

- Voice communication

- Diving panel with manometer

- Sufficient supply of breathing gas, including reserve breathing gas



2.4.4 Lines and surface marker buoys
Lines and floats normally form part of the diving equipment.

The following requirements apply for this equipment:
Signal line

- diameter minimum 4 mm

- breaking strength minimum 3000 N (300 kp)

- should be a light colour

- the depth should be marked

- the line should float

- should be static
The umbilical or communication cable may be used as a signal line if they meet the above requirements.
A buddy line is defined as a line to connect two or more divers. The line may be fixed with a quick release coupling / carabiner between the divers or by a wrist strap. The length of the line shall be adapted to the nature of the assignment.

Surface marker buoys

- must have a buoyancy of minimum 15 kg

- should be equipped with high visibility

- should be orange/red

- should have an attachment for light


2.5 Support equipment

2.5.1 Equipment for diving supervisor
The diving supervisor’s equipment shall, as a minimum, comprise:

- Relevant diving tables

- Watch

- Knife


- Diving flag (signal flag ALPHA)

- Suitable means of communication, minimum telephone and VHF

- Oxygen therapy equipment

- First aid kit (adhesive tourniquet in individual package + plaster)

- Suitable source of light when diving in the dark

- Drinking water

- GPS

2.5.2 O2 therapy equipment
The oxygen therapy equipment shall comprise of an oxygen tank and regulator with free-flow oxygen.

The following requirements apply for oxygen therapy equipment:

- oxygen supply of minimum 300 normal litres

- free-flow regulator with a capacity of minimum 12 l/min

- ventilation mask with oxygen nipple for mouth-to-mask ventilation

2.5.3 Hyperbaric chamber
Requirements for treatment and guidelines for operation of hyperbaric chambers are stipulated in Regulations concerning the performance of work, use of work equipment and related technical requirements.

Having a hyperbaric chamber at the diving site increases the level of safety for the divers.

When selecting a hyperbaric chamber, emphasis shall be attached to the duration and scope of the diving work. The evacuation time to the hyperbaric chamber should not exceed two hours.
The employer is responsible ensuring that training is provided in the use of the chamber and tenders.
2.5.4 Safety boat
A safety boat is a boat that is designed and fitted out so that divers can enter the water and board the boat quickly and easily. The boat must be equipped and manned in such a way that it is easy to take an unconscious diver on board. The diving supervisor must assess the size and speed of the boat against the diving to be implemented and the conditions at the dive site. The safety boat must be suitably equipped for the task.
2.5.5 Large vessel
A large vessel is a vessel fitted out and equipped to function as a platform for divers. The vessel should have a hyperbaric chamber on board if the evacuation time to the nearest manned hyperbaric chamber exceeds two hours.


2.6 Safety provisions

2.6.1 General provisions for diving
For all diving, there must be sufficient surface capacity. The diving supervisor must consider the competence of the standby personnel on a case by case basis in relation to the number of divers and the type of diving to be implemented. During all diving, there must be personnel on the surface with the necessary training in line signals, as well as be trained to deal with an emergency situation – particularly in terms of notification, transport and first aid. All dives must be led divers who hold a diving certificate for the type of diving equipment to be used.

As a minimum, diving operations shall be performed by a diving supervisor, a diver and a standby diver.


2.6.2 Diving tables
Recognised diving tables must be used during all diving operations.

2.6.3 Work instructions
The diving manager or the person he/she authorises shall prepare work instructions before the diving is initiated. An approved itinerary/cruise programme including defined distribution of responsibility and framework conditions may be used.
2.6.4 Diving assignment
The diving assignment must be led by a diver certified as a diving supervisor.

2.6.5 Training dives
Training diving shall be performed regularly in order to maintain one’s diving skills. A diving supervisor must be on the surface during all training diving.
2.6.6 Diving in pairs
When diving in pairs, one of the divers must be appointed as the leader of the pair, normally the one with the voice communication line. In such cases, the divers must use a buddy line.

2.6.7 Standby diver
For all diving, the diving supervisor must assess the relevant risk factors against the required state of readiness of the standby diver. The standby diver must have a diving certificate of minimum class S and be certified for the depth to be dived to.
The standby diver must as a minimum be dressed in a diving suit and be advisable. The standby diver must be trained to deal with emergency situations under water and be given the necessary training in emergency procedures for the equipment to be used. The standby diver must be experienced diver.

The standby diver may be one of the divers if separate lines are being used and / or the standby diver’s task is to monitor the other diver.



2.6.8 Diving flag
In order to warn that diving is being performed, a signal flag ALPHA must be used. This must be visible is ready to be displayed at the dive site. When diving in the dark, a red-white-red strobe may be used.

2.6.9 Notification
When diving on or near a vessel, or in areas where there is a danger that other activities may impact on the safety of the diving operation, the necessary notifications must be made before the diving starts. Examples of entities to be notified include the port authorities, vessels in the vicinity and relevant military departments. Notification is also necessary in areas where diving is not permitted, e.g. near fish farms, mines / cables and protected areas. The diving supervisor is responsible for providing notification / obtaining permission prior to diving in the area in question.

2.6.10 Safety boat
The safety boat should be at the dive site and ready for use when appropriate. This must be assessed by the diving supervisor in relation to the planned activity, conditions at the site and the nature of the assignment.

2.6.11 Signal line
The signal line must be properly fixed to the diver. The diver and line attendant must exchange regular line signals, except in circumstances when the diver’s condition is controlled in another manner. If the diver does not respond to a signal, the signal shall be repeated. If the diver fails to respond to that signal too, measures shall be implemented immediately to bring the diver to the surface.

As a general rule, all divers must use a signal line with communication.



2.6.12 Voice communication
Voice communication provides increased monitoring of the diving activity. Consequently, one should strive to utilise this during all types of diving.
In connection with stationary diving assignment, voice communication and video surveillance in real time should be used. In cases where voice communication fails, the dive shall continue using line signals. The diving supervisor shall assess whether the dive shall be interrupted on the basis of the depth and duration of the dive and the possible decompression time. In the event that there is also a risk that the diver can get stuck, the dive must be interrupted.
In connection with surface supplied diving, voice communication shall normally be utilised between the diver and the surface.

2.6.13 Calling the diver to the surface
A suitable acoustic signal may be used to call the diver to the surface in special situations. Examples of such signals are an explosive acoustic signals or mechanical knocking signals. In that event that acoustic signals containing explosives shall be used, the personnel must be given appropriate training in the use, safety clearance distance, transport and storage of this.


2.6.14 Hyperbaric chamber
Diving involves the risk of injuries that require treatment in a hyperbaric chamber. Consequently, in connection with all diving, a plan shall be prepared concerning notification and transport to a manned hyperbaric chamber.

In connection with diving operations with planned decompression stops, the diving supervisor has a particular responsibility to assess risk in relation to the depth, duration and decompression profile of the dive and any other risk factors.



2.6.15 Buoyancy control
In cases where a buoyancy compensator is used for buoyancy control, air from the device shall not be used. However, this air may be used in order to ensure positive buoyancy on the surface after the dive.
If the diver requires heavier weights or weighted dive boots in order to stand steadily, for instance to perform for diver should be able to stand firm, for example to perform sludge removal or other tasks on the seafloor, this must be executed with surface supplied equipment.
In connection with scuba diving / swimming, tools or other equipment should never prevent the diver from ensuring positive buoyancy in an emergency situation.

2.6.16 Exerting diving
After exerting diving, the diver shall not be left alone or attempt to sleep in the first hour after completion of the dive.

2.6.17 Diving with limited access to the surface
Diving with limited access to the surface describes situations in which one has limitations and may not dive more than six metres into or under a system with a scuba compressed air breathing system.

2.6.18 Diving with no access to the surface
Diving with no access to the surface describes situations in which one enters a system that can pose immediate mortal danger without an alternative source of air. In connection with diving with no access to the surface (e.g. diving inside a ship wreck, work in trawls and seine nets or under ice, etc.), the diving supervisor shall ensure that the divers have the necessary competence and training to perform the diving. The diving supervisor must assess the measures that must be implemented in order for the diving to be implemented in a safe manner.

The following supports are mandatory:

- voice communication with surface supplied equipment

- standby diver




2.6.19 Diving in polluted water
In connection with diving in water that is polluted, measures for cleaning should be prepared.

2.6.20 Diving in the dark/poor visibility
Divers must be equipped with two separate suitable light sources, one of which shall only be used in the event of emergency situations. If surface marker buoys are used, these must be visible.

2.6.21 Use of tools under water
In connection with work under water involving tools, the diver must be given the necessary training in the mode of operation, safety rules and risk factors of the tool(s) in question.
2.6.22 Lifting operations
In the event of lifting operations under water, the diver must not move immediately above or below the hanging object. The diver must not use their own valve / inflator to inflate the lifting balloon.

2.6.23 Search operations
When divers are used in search operations, the divers must be given the necessary training in the relevant type of search.


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