FROM OSHA: - APPENDIX A: Commercial Diving Operations Questions and Answers

From URL:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_doc**ent?p_table=DIREC...


Question #2:  What are the minimum number of dive-team members required to support air dives using SCUBA equipment and surface-supplied diving equipment, with one diver in the water?

Answer:  In establishing the number of dive-team members required for a dive, proper consideration must be given to 29 CFR 1910.421(d) Planning and a****sment, 29 CFR 1910.421(e) Hazardous activities, and 29 CFR 1910.422(b)(3).  This latter provision requires employers to provide a means to assist an injured diver from the water (such as an inwater stage, small boat, or stokes basket) or into a diving bell, that may necessitate additional dive-team members.

Commercial SCUBA air diving with one diver in the water requires a minimum of three dive-team members:  a designated person-in-charge (DPIC)(see 29 CFR 1910.410(c)), a standby diver (see 29 CFR 1910.424(c)(1)), and a line-tended diver (see 29 CFR 1910.424(c)(2)).  A tender who is a qualified diver can be the standby diver; for a three-person dive-team, the DPIC would assume tending duties when the standby diver (tender) is in the water.  A DPIC who is a qualified diver also can be the standby diver, provided that another dive-team member is at the dive location.  This dive-team member must be trained and capable of performing the necessary functions of the DPIC, when the DPIC is in the water serving as the standby diver. 

Commercial surface-supplied air diving with one diver in the water requires a minimum of three dive-team members:  a DPIC (see 29 CFR 1910.410(c)), and a diver "who shall be continuously tended [by a tender other than the DPIC] while in the water" (see 29 CFR 1910.425(c)(1)).  For surface-supplied air diving that is 100 feet or less and does not involve planned decompression, a standby diver is not a specified requirement for every dive.  However, based on the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.421(d) Planning and a****sment, the hazard analysis and a****sment of the dive will dictate the use of a standby diver when underwater conditions and hazards or potential hazards involve:  proximity to an underwater suction, no free access to the surface, the possibility of diver entanglement or entrapment, or unknown bottom conditions.  If a standby diver is required (such as when these conditions are present or for depths that exceed 100 fsw), these duties may be performed by the DPIC or the tender.  A tender who is a qualified diver can be the standby diver; for a three-person dive team, the DPIC would assume tending duties when the standby diver (tender) is in the water.  A DPIC who is a qualified diver also can be the standby diver, provided that another dive-team member is at the dive location.  This dive-team member must be trained and capable of performing the necessary functions of the DPIC, when the DPIC is in the water as the standby diver.

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MY COMMENT:

"
Commercial surface-supplied air diving" MUST change!

      A FIVE PERSON DIVE TEAM MINIMUM!

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Joseph thanks for this . I have a question .Do you believe that those two extra crew members can do anything to help a person 99ft down and 175' away ? If they have no comms and no way of getting a secondary air source to them for life support.
I only ask this question because most of the time I am against the use of scuba as the only air source. There are exceptions I guess but it should not be the rule. A lite umbilical with comms and the proper sized bailout for the job and depth. I am not against the 5 man crew just think without these things covered They become two more eye witnesses ..thanks

Absolutely correct, professional diving should been done by means of a proper umbilical, comms, bail-out and preferably CCTV.

In this case a 5 man team is much better to deal with the situation in case of emergencies.

If the standby needs to go in, then there are two tenders available (one for each diver) and a supervisor who can coordinate all the required actions.

Otherwise: one man (the supervisor) must tender two umbilicals and operate the comms.

It is obvious that a 5 man team is much safer. And if forced by law to work this way: who’s gone complain? Safer working means in average that there are more people (more jobs) involved as wel.  

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