hope you enjoy this edition of UNDERWATER. I want to thank our advertising partners, who continue to support the magazine during these challenging times of COVID-19. This edition focuses on the STEM (ROV) Competition and Cost-Saving Tips for Equipment Maintenance. There is also an overview of what the ADCI Board of Directors is doing for you. The Board has been very active with addressing the challenges associated with continued diving operations during COVID-19. In fact, the Association is about to release COVID-19 Guidance for Surface Diving Operations. This new guidance will also have an appendix that contains the UC San Diego Study on Evaluation of Divers During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The entire document will be translated into Spanish and Mandarin and posted on the ADCI website for immediate download.
The Association is also working with the USCG on a policy letter that provides guidance on Coast Guard acceptance of certain industry recognized standards for commercial diving operations as providing a level of safety that is equivalent to requirements contained in 46 CFR Part 197, Subpart B — Commercial Diving Operations. Both ADCI and IMCA proposed the interim policy to fill the void until the revised 46 CFR Part 197, Subpart B — Commercial Diving Operations has been passed into law. It is important to note that when the policy is formalized it will neither be a substitute for applicable legal requirements, nor will it be a rule itself. The policy is not intended to, nor does it impose legally-binding requirements on any party. It will represent the Coast Guard’s current position on this topic and may assist industry, mariners, the general public, and the Coast Guard, as well as other federal and state regulators, in applying statutory and regulatory requirements. Alternative approaches for complying with the policy requirements may be considered. Information can be made available to the Commandant (CG-OES-2) to show that the approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.
The ADCI Safety Committee and Technical Committees are working on the next revision to the International Consensus Standards for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations. The committees will focus on revising the Underwater Lift bag section. Instead of just focusing on the parachute-type lift bags, the section will provide guidance on several underwater floatation devices. The committees will then concentrate on safety considerations for underwater airlift operations, in the underwater excavation subsection of Section 5 — Underwater Operations: Procedures, Checklists and Guidelines.
As we progress through this unusual year of maintaining operations during COVID-19, the ADCI along with its partners, will continue to develop safe practices for mitigating the spread of the virus during the conduct of commercial diving.
Let us remember that people are the most important asset. Preservation of safety and health must remain a constant consideration in every phase of your operations. Contractors and schools must provide the resources necessary to manage, control or eliminate safety and health hazards. Employees and students are also responsible for following safe work practices, including the use of all personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary.