In the last article, we discussed a safety initiative set by OSHA and the ADCI to limit the amount of injuries to unqualified divers working for marine contractors. In this second part, we will be discussing the importance of job safety analysis prior to the start of any job and questions you, as the prime contractor, need to ask of your diving subcontractor.
Many contractors assume safety protocol is being put in place during the bidding process. A lot of the times cost is the main concern, not the job being conducted by current industry standards. Unfortunately, it is the bottom line daily rate that is often the first choice in selecting a commercial dive company. Past safety records and proper insurance and credentials often following second, and in our experience, not even brought up by the prime at all.
The first question a contractor needs to ask to properly vet a dive company is who is their insurance carrier (including workers compensation and longshoreman coverage). This one question pertaining to their insurances will weed out many unscrupulous commercial dive firms immediately. Companies performing underwater operations should be able to supply you with a Capability Statement. It would be good to see a Duns and Bradstreet number, as well as their
Cage and NAICS codes on this company profile. The prime contractor should also ask for proper JSA (Job Safety Analysis) for the project prior to the start of any work. It is also good practice to notify local fire/rescue stations where and when divers will be present in case of an accident. A local Emergency Care facility should also be listed on the JSA. Any professional commercial dive company will include their JSA as part of the bid package. As we all know accidents do happen, but many risks can be mitigated with prior planning. The risk of possible injury or loss of life is the direct responsibility of the diving contractor; however the prime’s responsibility is to hire a dive company that implements the above criteria. Safety doesn’t cost, it pays.
In the upcoming Part 3, we will be discussing what constitute a dive team set by governing standards.
Adams Commercial Diving, Inc.