March 24: This advisory notice is provided to stress the importance of stakeholders vetting secondhand information on guidance for the sanitization of commercial diving life support equipment.
Recently, a diving contractor contacted the ADCI to verify an alleged guidance that OSHA/ADCI had issued, recommending the utilization of a diluted bleach mixture for post-dive cleaning of dive helmets. This is completely inaccurate, and is an example of why it is important to verify firsthand what are the recommended practices for the cleaning of shared life support equipment.
The ADCI would not, and will not, issue guidelines of this type that should be generated from manufacturers and vendors.
The ADCI encourages all contractors and schools to contact manufacturers on the best practices for proper sanitization to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The following links and recommendations are from Kirby Morgan Dive Systems:
During this period with the spreading of COVID-19 it is important that the helmets, BandMasks® and full-face masks be cleaned and sanitized properly as defined in our General Preventative Maintenance section 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 Sanitizing Procedure.
It is also important that the minimum post-dive procedures should be done using the Post-Dive Cleaning, Maintenance, and Inspection Checklist A2.6 checklist.
Just wiping down and changing the parts is not enough. The equipment should be fully immersed and follow the solution manufacturers’ guidelines for immersion time. The regulator cover, whiskers and valves should be opened up as stated in the checklists. Don’t forget about the neck dam and comms. The mic element is often overlooked and should receive the same attention as the other components that come in contact with the face.
Ensuring every diver has their own head cushion and oral nasal mask with valve, nose block pad has great value as well.
Concerning one of the KMDSI recommended sanitizing products Steramine:
|March 19: Last week the ADCI issued its first Advisory Notice to industry stakeholders to provide the background, symptoms, and how the virus spreads.As new information becomes available, the Association will continue to issue recommendations from the CDC and medical community. |
This advisory notice will focus on:
· Preventing the spread of the virus
· Staying in the know
· Managing stress and anxiety
Also, please read “15 Days to Slow the Spread” and a “COVID-19 UPDATE; Issues for Commercial Diving Operations in the Gulf of Mexico.” The ADCI would like to recognize and thank Robert Bourgeois, MD, MPH, FACOEM (ADCI Physicians Diving Advisory Committee) for providing industry with the “COVID-19 UPDATE; Issues for Commercial Diving Operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
General Prevention for the Spread of the Virus
As you know, globally we are experiencing many closures of schools, businesses, and places of work, and moving to remote options if possible. These measures are crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19.However, there are commercial diving operations that have been deemed critical to the infrastructure and commerce of many regions worldwide.
The following are recommended ways to mitigate the spread of the virus:
· Stay away from individuals that are ill
· Stay at home if you are ill
· Avoid touching the face – nose, mouth, eyes before washing hands
· Handwashing should be conducted for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water
· Hand sanitizers should be at least 60% alcohol-based
· Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue
Industry-specific Prevention for the Spread of the Virus
Screening Employee Health Questionnaire should be administered 4 days before crew change, 2 days and day prior to crew change
o If positive on questionnaires – DO NOT TRAVEL TO JOB OR CREW CHANGE:
The goal is to keep sick employees away from well employees:
· Do not infect others in crew vans, at the heliport, or boat dock
· Stay at home – call personal physician for instructions for screening or other care
· Do not return to work until cleared by your primary physician or company physician
· Clean / disinfect at least twice daily: Work areas, living areas, door knobs, handrails, tables, desks, phones, keyboards, faucets, toilets, light switchesDisinfect the deck decompression chamber(s) – inside, controls, hatch, and comms
· Disinfect the BIBS, helmets and masks after each use
· Know EPA disinfectants for COVID-19: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
· Follow helmet and mask manufacturers’ recommendations for proper sanitization
Staying in the Know
Social media is not always a reliable source of information but can be a helpful resource to connect us all during times of crisis. Consider following the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.While there may be some regional differences and logistical-specific approaches for the conduct of commercial diving operations during this period of the spreading of the virus, the ADCI, IMCA, and IDIF are working collaboratively to ensure that all guidance information on mitigating the spread of the virus is essentially consistent for all global stakeholders.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
The ADCI recognizes that this is an extremely stressful time. It is natural reaction to feel confused and anxious in this rapidly changing environment. Here are some resources to use to cope with stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19: “Managing Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak” – created by the National Center for PTSD“Coping with Stress During the 2019-n-COV Outbreak” – infographic created by the World Health Organization (WHO)
March 12: The ADCI encourages all members to be vigilant within their companies and schools in exercising the recommended practices from health officials and the WHO for mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).By now, the world should know that COVID-19 is a very infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. COVID-19 spreads from others who have the virus.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people catch COVID-19 by touching these objects and surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. The most effective known ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people who are coughing and sneezing.The World Health Organization (WHO) is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local health authorities.The ADCI encourages all industry stakeholders to thoroughly risk assess any planned air travel or any form of travel to areas with wide-spread outbreak.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/k0KRNtqcjfw