Offshore Shipping Online

A publication for the offshore shipping industry published by Clarkson Research

  • Offshore Intelligence Monthly
  • Menu

    IMCA publishes FMEA guide to diving systems

    Publications // February 6, 2006

    Diving systems have come under Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEA) spotlight thanks to a new publication from the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).

    This new document, the first ever published to assist in the performance of FMEAs for diving systems, has been produced to offer guidance to owners and operators of diving systems in all aspects of the FMEA process.

    “Over recent years, IMCA has issued a considerable amount of well-received documentation relating to FMEAs primarily targeted at the commissioning and carrying out of these analyses on dynamically positioned (DP) vessels,” explained Hugh Williams, chief executive of IMCA. “Now, at the request of our Diving Division, we’ve turned our attention to diving-specific guidance, building on the marine document and addressing issues of special interest to diving contractors.”

    The newly published ’FMEA Guide for Diving Systems’ looks at the reasons behind needing an FMEA; selection of an FMEA team; agreement of a structure and scope for the FMEA; collation of relevant documentation; performance of the FMEA; verification and testing; and ongoing maintenance of the process.

    It offers examples of the typical methodology used in specifying, performing and maintaining an FMEA for a diving system; and examples of good practice to the FMEA practitioners; as well as providing references to other relevant documentation that may assist them in performing an FMEA. 

    “It’s up to the owner or operator of each diving system to determine if there is a requirement for an FMEA to be in place, both for existing and new diving systems,” said Williams. “Indeed in the very first practical part of the publication we set out some of the drivers that should be assessed when determining whether or not an FMEA should be performed." 

    These include international codes/legislation; classification society rules; industry guidance (e.g. the use of IMCA documentation); or company internal management systems. 

    “There may be alternative risk management tools in place within the company’s management system that achieve the same purpose as the FMEA in identifying, assessing and mitigating failure modes and their impact on the diving system or association diving operation. The FMEA can be used to complement the other risk assessment methods used prior to and during a diving operation – in itself an FMEA will not analyse the actual diving tasks and its associated risk and management. We have kept the new publication reasonably short and concise to enable all levels of management dealing with the ownership or operation of a diving system to understand their needs and responsibilities with respect to the FMEA process."

    Copies of FMEA Guide for Diving Systems (IMCA D 039) are available at £15 to IMCA members (members can also download it free of charge from the members-only website) and £60 to non-members and can be ordered from or from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; Email:

    More articles from this category

    More news