Federal agencies Manufacturing Injury prevention Water Manufacturing

Diving operation deaths spur OSHA safety alert

Photo: fermate/iStockphoto

Washington — Prompted by a recent spate of deaths during diving operations, particularly at power generation facilities, OSHA has issued a safety alert on diving work performed near drains, tunnels, pipes and valves.

The alert states that divers working around these items can suffer fatal injuries when differential water pressure, commonly known as Delta P, creates forces quick and strong enough to entrap them. From June 2019 to this past July, the hazard led to six diver deaths – five of them occurring at power generation facilities.


“Diving contractors and facility operators must take measures to protect divers by attending pre-job safety briefs to discuss Delta P, identifying and calculating the force of Delta P, considering a pre-dive inspection with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), using a lockout/tagout (LOTO) program, and making sure all dive team members are qualified,” the alert states.

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