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No reported personal injuries in connection with saturation diving in 2009

There were no reported undesirable incidents in the form of personal injuries or near-misses in connection with saturation diving in 2009. This emerges from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's report from the DSYS diving database.


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 1985-2009.

Less saturation diving:
42 931 man-hours of saturation diving* were carried out in 2009. This is down about 20 per cent from the preceding year.
As in 2008, there were no reportable personal injuries or near-misses in connection with saturation diving in 2009.

An average activity level is expected for 2010 (68 000 man-hours in saturation).

First-aid injury
In 2009, 379 hours of surface-oriented diving were carried out, an increase compared with the reported figures for 2008.
For this type of diving in 2009, only one first-aid injury was reported, and no near-misses.

The activity level for this type of diving in 2010 is expected to remain at about the same level as for 2009.

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 2009. 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.

*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.

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