The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is consulting widely, and globally, on new guidance on hyperbaric evacuation systems aimed at improving the safety of saturation divers throughout the world.
“In 2011 we set up an industry-wide workgroup to develop the hyperbaric evacuation guidance, ” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “The work was split into five main topic areas – risk assessment, technical, operations, medical and standards. The document, which runs to over 70 pages, is a substantial piece of work, and should make a significant contribution in helping to improve the evacuation arrangements available to saturation divers world-wide.
“We are distributing the draft guidance document widely for comment and inviting feedback by 8 February 2013, after which we will update the guidance with the aim of finalising the document for publication by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Those eager to comment can obtain a copy of the document by emailing email@example.com.”
IMCA gave a presentation on the draft document at its recent annual seminar held in November in Amsterdam. IMCA has kept the industry involved in the development of this document and has made a number of presentations to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) Diving Industry Workgroup , most recently at its last meeting held in Anchorage, Alaska in July 2012. The new document will be supported by two additional IMCA guidance documents. One will be contain interface recommendations for hyperbaric rescue units. This document is currently being finalised and will be issued shortly. The other document will be a DESIGN (Diving Equipment Systems Inspection Guidance Note) document dealing with the configuration, examination, testing and certification of the hardware elements found in hyperbaric evacuation systems.
• IMCA is an international association with nearly 900 members in more than 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training. IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
• IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as e-CMID, safety recommendation, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.