LONDON — The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has published its new ‘Guidance on Underwater Excavation Works Involving Divers’ IMCA D 074.
The aim is to raise awareness of the hazards associated with subsea excavations, notably the risks to the divers involved.
Bill Chilton, IMCA technical adviser – Diving, said, “Over the years there have been many incidents where divers have been trapped, injured or killed either by direct contact with excavation equipment or by collapses while working inside various types of excavations below seabed level.
“Recent accidents have highlighted the need for industry guidance on how to conduct such operations safely. IMCA D 074 has been prepared working with specialist IMCA members. It is like all IMCA documents written by the industry for the industry.
“Underwater excavation works always have the potential to cause severe or fatal injuries to divers. Such works must always be properly risk assessed, carefully planned and carried out in strict accordance with safe working procedures in order to prevent accidents.”
Other goals, related to the new document, are to:
- Highlight the risk of serious harm to divers arising from underwater trench wall collapses or from the sudden unexpected backfilling of excavations;
- Provide information and guidance to help diving contractors and others control or mitigate the risks associated with underwater excavation works involving divers; and
- Describe the types of equipment commonly used on diving projects involving subsea excavation works.