Decompression illness (DCI) is not considered to be an issue within the regulated areas of the offshore oil and gas diving industry today, a survey of diving contractor members of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has revealed.
“We recently asked our diving contractor members to provide data on the incidence of DCI such as the numbers of events in air and saturation diving as well as their frequency, and to provide feedback on whether they felt this was a significant issue,” explains Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director. “We received 17 responses identifying two possible DCIs. One seemingly typical response stated, ‘we have not had a DCI for the past 12 years’.”
The survey indicated that the oil and gas offshore diving industry has, over the years and through the structured and widely implemented approach of a self-regulating industry, achieved a significant reduction in such critical events.
“It is possible, however, that DCI remains an issue in unregulated areas or in other areas of commercial diving,” says Jane Bugler. “This leaves an opportunity for clients, governments and contractors to help continue the spread and implementation of this structured approach and thereby to further reduce these occurrences if they do indeed exist elsewhere.”