The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as part of the review of all its Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) following the recommendations in the Löfsted Report, is due to publish revised versions of the five diving ACoPs on Monday 8th December 2014. These ACoPs are for:
- Commercial diving projects offshore (L103)
- Commercial diving projects inland/inshore (L104)
- Recreational diving projects (L105)
- Media diving projects (L106)
- Scientific and Archaeological diving projects (L107)
The changes to the ACoPs are intended to update and simplify ACoP material and guidance to provide greater clarity, remove inconsistencies, replace outdated references and reflect changes in technology and industry practice.
The HSE’s assessment of the impact of the changes concluded there will be no significant cost implications or burdens, or changes to existing working practices as the changes do not amend existing diving legislation duties. However, the changes can affect the way in which diving operations are managed e.g. a refreshment break within 4 hours of lock out in closed bell operations is now mandated (whereas previously a break was only required to be offered) and the recommended maximum partial pressure for oxygen in compressed air or oxygen and nitrogen gas mixtures has been reduced from 1.5 bar to 1.4 bar.
Also the requirement for divers to notify their supervisors of anything that may affect their fitness to dive has been strengthened. Divers must now report any reason that their medical fitness may be in doubt, rather than simply circumstances where the diver considers that they are unfit to dive. This change brings a degree of objectivity and should help to encourage divers to report any health issues even where they do not think it will affect their fitness to dive.
Although the changes to the ACoPs may appear relatively minor, those responsible for diving operations should review their procedures to ensure that they remain compliance.The revised ACoPs will be published here.