This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at www.dir.ca.gov. These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at http://www.dir.ca.gov/od_pub/disclaimer.html.


Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 26. Diving Operations
Article 152. Diving Operations

Return to index
New query

§6056. Basic Operation Procedures.

(a) SCUBA Diving (Compressed Air and Mixed Gas).

(1) Limits:

(A) Compressed air SCUBA diving shall not be conducted at depths greater than 130 fsw (40 msw).

EXCEPTION: SCUBA diving to a maximum depth of 190 fsw (58 msw) is permitted for scientific and technical diving operations, providing the diver(s) has been certified for the depth reached.

(B) SCUBA diving shall not be conducted at depths greater than 100 fsw (30 msw) unless a recompression chamber is ready for use or procedures have been established at the dive location for emergency evacuation of the diver(s) to a recompression chamber.

SCUBA diving shall not be conducted at depths greater than 100 fsw (30 msw) and outside no-decompression limits unless a decompression chamber is available within four (4) hours of the dive location.

(C) SCUBA diving shall not be conducted against currents exceeding 3 knots unless line-tended.

(2) Procedures.

(A) A standby diver shall be available while a diver is in the water; or

(B) A diver shall be line-tended from the surface; or,

(C) A SCUBA diver shall be accompanied in the water by another SCUBA diver and they shall remain in effective communication with each other throughout the diving operation.

(D) A diver shall be stationed at the underwater point of entry when diving is conducted in enclosed or physically confining spaces; or an orientation line shall be used in enclosed spaces where there is a probability of entrapment or disorientation.

(E) If loss of effective communication occurs, within a buddy team, all divers shall surface and re-establish contact.

(F) Each diver or buddy team shall have an adequate depth gauge and underwater time keeping device.

(G) Each diver shall have a submersible pressure gauge for monitoring SCUBA tank pressure, capable of being monitored by the diver during the dive.

(H) The dive shall be terminated while there is still sufficient tank pressure to permit the diver to safely reach the surface (including decompression time if a decompression chamber is not provided at the dive site).

(I) Each diver shall have the capability of achieving and maintaining positive buoyancy.

(3) If mixed gas is used as the breathing media, appropriate diving tables shall be used.

(4) Closed and semi-closed circuit SCUBA (rebreathers) shall meet the following requirements:

(A) Oxygen partial pressure (PO2) in the breathing gas shall not exceed 1.5 Atmospheres at depths greater than 25 fsw (7.6 msw).

(B) Chemicals used for the absorption of carbon dioxide shall be kept in a cool, dry location in a sealed container until required for use.

(C) The designated-person-in-charge shall determine that the carbon dioxide absorption canister is used in accordance with the manufacturer's specification.

(D) Each diver shall be notified of the absorption time of the canister before entering the water.

(E) Closed and semi-closed diving equipment will not be used at a depth greater than that recommended by the manufacturer of the equipment.

(5) HOOKAH.

(A) HOOKAH divers shall comply with all SCUBA diving procedures in this section except for the depth limitations contained in Section 6056(a)(1). HOOKAH diving shall not be conducted at depths greater than 190 fsw (58 msw).

(B) Divers using the HOOKAH mode shall be equipped with an independent reserve breathing gas supply and regulator.

(C) Each HOOKAH diver shall be hose tended by a separate dive team member while in the water.

(D) The HOOKAH breathing gas supply shall be sufficient to support all HOOKAH divers in the water for the duration of the planned dive, including decompression.

(b) Surface-Supplied-Air-Diving.

(1) Limits.

(A) Surface-supplied air dives with bottom times greater than 30 minutes shall be conducted at depths not to exceed 190 fsw (58 msw). Dives with bottom times of less than 30 minutes may be conducted to depths of 220 fsw (67 msw).

(B) Except when heavy gear is worn or diving is conducted in physically confining spaces a bell shall be used for dives with inwater decompression times greater than 120 minutes.

(C) For heavy-gear diving deeper than 100 fsw or outside the no-decompression limits:

1. An extra breathing gas hose capable of supplying breathing gas to the diver in the water shall be available to the standby diver.

NOTE: The pneumofathometer hose if equivalent to the breathing gas hose in strength and flow capacity and properly plumbed to breathing gas source, will be considered satisfactory for this purpose.

2. An inwater stage shall be provided to divers in the water.

(D) Except when heavy gear is worn or where physical space does not permit, a diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply shall be provided whenever the diver is prevented by the configuration of the dive area from ascending directly to the surface.

(2) Procedures.

(A) A separate dive team member shall continuously tend each diver in the water;

(B) Continuous two-way voice communications between the diver and the surface shall be maintained for each surface supplied diver in the water.

(C) A standby diver equipped with surface-supplied gear or a pair of SCUBA divers shall hose tend at the underwater point of entry when diving is conducted in enclosed or physically confining spaces.

(D) Each diving operation shall have a primary breathing gas supply sufficient to support all divers in the water for the duration of the planned dive, including decompression.

(E) For dives deeper than 100 fsw (30 msw) or outside the no-decompression limits:

1. A standby diver shall be available while a surface supplied diver is in the water;

2. A diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply shall be provided for each diver.

3. A dive-location reserve breathing gas supply shall be provided.

(F) Gauges and Timekeeping Devices.

1. Gauges indicating diver depth which can be read at the dive location or dive site shall be used for all dives.

2. A timekeeping device shall be available at each dive location.

(c) Liveboating.

(1) General. Employers engaged in diving operations involving liveboating shall comply with the following requirements.

(2) Limits. Diving operations involving liveboating shall not be conducted:

(A) With an inwater decompression time of greater than 120 minutes;

(B) Using surface-supplied air at depths deeper than 190 fsw, except that dives with bottom times of 30 minutes or less may be conducted to depths of 220 fsw;

(C) Using mixed gas at depths greater than 220 fsw;

(D) In rough seas which significantly impede diver mobility or work function; or

(E) In other than daylight hours.

(3) Procedures.

(A) The propeller of the vessel shall be stopped while the diver enters or exits the water.

(B) A device shall be used which minimizes the possibility of entanglement of the diver's hose in the propeller of the vessel.

(C) Two-way voice communication between the tender(s) and the person controlling the vessel shall be available while the diver is in the water.

(D) A standby diver other than the operator of the vessel shall be available while a diver is in the water.

(E) A diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply shall be carried by each diver engaged in liveboating operations.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. Amendment of subsections (a)(5)(A), (b)(1)(A) and (b)(2)(E) filed 5-30-80; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 80, No. 22).

Go BackGo Back to Article 152 Table of Contents