The safety of divers in saturation is of paramount importance. With this in mind, the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) – Booth S18 at OTC 2014 – has published ‘Diving Equipment Systems Inspection Guidance Note (DESIGN) for the hyperbaric reception facility (HRF) forming part of a hyperbaric evacuation system (HES)’ (IMCA D 053).
“D 053 should always be used in conjunction with IMCA D 018 ‘Code of practice on the initial and periodic examination, testing and certification of diving plant and equipment’,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “Indeed, cross references to this Code are provided where appropriate.
“Our new document addresses the provision of an HRF as part of an HES as utilised within the offshore diving industry, and aims to provide a comprehensive reference source, addressing the philosophy of what equipment and layout is required for an HRF, plus the examination, test and certification requirements necessary to meet agreed industry practice.
“This will apply anywhere in the world (i.e. outside the territorial waters of most countries or inside territorial waters where offshore diving, normally in support of the oil and gas or renewable energy industries is being carried out).”
The newly published document offers examples of good practice. It gives advice on aspects of an HRF that can be configured in certain ways in order to provide a safer system of working. It also identifies how inspection and testing can be carried out safely and efficiently.
The document has no direct legal status, but many courts, in the absence of specific local regulations, would accept that a company carrying out diving operations in line with the recommendations of IMCA D 053 was using safe and accepted practices.
Press Release, May 06, 2014; Image: SMP Ltd