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New report: Diving-related incidents during the period 1985 - 2010

In 2010, two personal injuries were reported during saturation diving in connection with petroleum activities, according to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway’s report from the diving database system DSYS.


The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has established several databases in order to record and systematise information about incidents in connection with the petroleum activities.

The DSYS database has been established within the field of manned underwater operations. The year's report contains statistics and analyses based on data from the period 1985-2010.

Increased activity levels
In 2010, the activity level for saturation diving* was 52,537 man-hours in saturation, which represents a small increase in activity level compared with 2009. A corresponding level of activity is expected in 2011.

In 2010, the activity level for surface diving* was 796 hours in water, which is about double the reported activity level for 2009.

The activity level for surface diving is significantly lower than for saturation diving and is expected to be at the same level in 2011.

*Definitions:

Saturation diving: The diver operates from a diving bell (which transports the diver under pressure from a chamber onboard the ship to the work site), and remains under pressure in a chamber onboard the diving vessel between the work sessions (bell runs).

Surface diving: The diver enters the water from the surface, carries out the job at the relevant work depth (less than 50 metres of water), and returns to the surface. Extra compression/decompression in a chamber on the surface may be part of such a diving operation.

Few personal injuries
The DSYS overview shows that there have been relatively few personal injuries related to saturation diving in the last 25 years.

In 2010, two incidents, in the form of personal injuries, were reported. One of them was a soft tissue injury the diver sustained when the load struck the diver’s calf in connection with installation of a protective cover. The other incident was a case of dehydration and a subsequent headache.

No injuries were reported in connection with surface diving in 2010.

Credible statistics
Reporting to DSYS takes place through reports on NAV forms with appendices, and via activity reports from the operating companies (NORSOK U-100).

Statistics show that there were few serious incidents such as fatalities and decompression sickness in the period 1985 to 2010. The last fatality in connection with saturation diving took place in 1987.

It is the PSA's impression that the reports provide a real picture of the number of personal injuries in connection with this type of diving in recent years.

Also see article about diving in the publication Safety - status and signals 2010-2011