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    Updated IMCA code of practice for offshore diving published

    Publications // December 7, 2007

    A reviewed and updated edition of the ‘IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving’ that includes reference to new and updated IMCA guidance published since the code was originally produced in 1998, has been published by The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). It reflects developments over the past nine years in good practice and technology.

    “The offshore commercial diving industry, while providing services to the oil and gas industry and alternative energy resources, can be the subject of various regulations, standards, codes and guidelines imposed by national governments of a particular area, the clients who wish the work to be carried out, the insurers of the diving contractor or other outside organisations, societies, advisory committees and associations,” explained IMCA’s chief executive, Hugh Williams.

    “While offshore diving in some areas is heavily regulated, there are other areas where there may be little or no outside control of diving activities. In such areas the diving contractors themselves are left to establish their own internal controls by means of their company manuals and procedures. In the absence of local regulations there can be instances where some clients attempt to impose the regulatory standards of another area. This can cause confusion as many national regulations are based on local environmental and social conditions which simply may not apply in other parts of the world."

    “The much-used ‘IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving’ provides a ‘level playing field’ for diving contractors by laying down good practice guidelines to which all IMCA members world-wide should comply,” added Hugh Williams. “Increasingly clients around the world are selecting IMCA member companies in the knowledge that they follow the Code of Practice. This new edition incorporates much valuable feedback provided by members when the draft was out for consultation. It’s very much a publication produced by the industry for the industry with safe and efficient operations lying at the heart of all diving operations.”

    The ‘IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving’, is intended to assist personnel involved in diving operations; clients’ staff involved in the preparation of bid documents and contracts; client and diving contractor representatives; vessel owners and marine crews involved with diving operations; installation and rig managers using divers; all personnel involved in operational management; and all personnel involved in quality assurance and health, safety and environment issues.

    IMCA has included recommendations in areas where there is a difficult balance between commercial considerations and safety implications. It is recognised, however that safety must never be compromised for any reason.

    In particular, explained Williams: “There is a need for clients and contractors to recognise and accept the importance of providing sufficient and appropriately qualified and competent personnel to conduct operations safely at all times; safe, fit-for-purpose and properly maintained equipment; and adequate time for routine preventative maintenance. We can never stress these points enough, they lie at the heart of successful and safe diving operations.”

    Members of IMCA can download the revised Code (IMCA D 014 Rev.1) free of charge from the members-only website, and can order printed copies at £15 (£30 for non-members) plus 20% delivery fee outside Europe, online at; or from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK. Tel: 020 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; Email:



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