U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 27, 2020

GENERAL

§ 197.200 - Purpose of subpart.

This subpart prescribes rules for the design, construction, and use of equipment, and inspection, operation, and safety and health standards for commercial diving operations taking place from vessels and facilities under Coast Guard jurisdiction.

§ 197.202 - Applicability.

(a) This subpart applies to commercial diving operations taking place at any deepwater port or the safety zone thereof as defined in 33 CFR part 150; from any artificial island, installation, or other device on the Outer Continental Shelf and the waters adjacent thereto as defined in 33 CFR part 147 or otherwise related to activities on the Outer Continental Shelf; and from all vessels required to have a certificate of inspection issued by the Coast Guard including mobile offshore drilling units regardless of their geographic location, or from any vessel connected with a deepwater port or within the deepwater port safety zone, or from any vessel engaged in activities related to the Outer Continental Shelf; except that this subpart does not apply to any diving operation -

(1) Performed solely for marine scientific research and development purposes by educational institutions;

(2) Performed solely for research and development for the advancement of diving equipment and technology; or

(3) Performed solely for search and rescue or related public safety purposes by or under the control of a governmental agency.

(b) Diving operations may deviate from the requirements of this subpart to the extent necessary to prevent or minimize a situation which is likely to cause death, injury, or major environmental damage. The circumstances leading to the situation, the deviations made, and the corrective action taken, if appropriate, to reduce the possibility of recurrence shall be recorded by the diving supervisor in the logbook as required by § 197.482(c).

§ 197.203 - Right of appeal.

Any person directly affected by a decision or action taken under this subchapter, by or on behalf of the Coast Guard, may appeal therefrom in accordance with subpart 1.03 of this chapter.

[CGD 88-033, 54 FR 50382, Dec. 6, 1989]

§ 197.204 - Definitions.

As used in this subpart:

ACFM means actual cubic feet per minute.

ANSI Code1 means the B31.1 American National Standards Institute “Code for Pressure Piping, Power Piping.”

ASME Code means the American Society of Mechanical Engineers “Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.”

ASME PVHO-1 means the ANSI/ASME standard “Safety Standard for Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy.”

ATA means a measure of pressure expressed in terms of atmosphere absolute (includes barometric pressure).

Bell means a compartment either at ambient pressure (open bell) or pressurized (closed bell) that allows the diver to be transported to and from the underwater work site, allows the diver access to the surrounding environment, and is capable of being used as a refuge during diving operations.

Bottom time means the total elapsed time measured in minutes from the time the diver leaves the surface in descent to the time to the next whole minute that the diver begins ascent.

Breathing gas/breathing mixture means the mixed-gas, oxygen, or air as appropriate supplied to the diver for breathing.

Bursting pressure means the pressure at which a pressure containment device would fail structurally.

Commercial diver means a diver engaged in underwater work for hire excluding sport and recreational diving and the instruction thereof.

Commercial diving operation means all activities in support of a commercial diver.

Cylinder means a pressure vessel for the storage of gases under pressure.

Decompression chamber means a pressure vessel for human occupancy such as a surface decompression chamber, closed bell, or deep diving system especially equipped to recompress, decompress, and treat divers.

Decompression sickness means a condition caused by the formation of gas or gas bubbles in the blood or body tissue as a result of pressure reduction.

Decompression table means a profile or set of profiles of ascent rates and breathing mixtures designed to reduce the pressure on a diver safely to atmospheric pressure after the diver has been exposed to a specific depth and bottom time.

Depth means the maximum pressure expressed in feet of seawater attained by a diver and is used to express the depth of a dive.

Dive location means that portion of a vessel or facility from which a diving operation is conducted.

Dive team means the divers and diver support personnel involved in a diving operation, including the diving supervisor.

Diver means a person working beneath the surface, exposed to hyperbaric conditions, and using underwater breathing apparatus.

Diver-carried reserve breathing gas means a supply of air or mixed-gas, as appropriate, carried by the diver in addition to the primary or secondary breathing gas supplied to the diver.

Diving installation means all of the equipment used in support of a commercial diving operation.

Diving mode means a type of diving requiring SCUBA, surface-supplied air, or surface-supplied mixed-gas equipment, with related procedures and techniques.

Diving stage means a suspended platform constructed to carry one or more divers and used for putting divers into the water and bringing them to the surface when in-water decompression or a heavy-weight diving outfit is used.

Diving supervisor means the person having complete responsibility for the safety of a commercial diving operation including the responsibility for the safety and health of all diving personnel in accordance with this subpart.

Facility means a deepwater port, or an artificial island, installation, or other device on the Outer Continental Shelf subject to Coast Guard jurisdiction.

Fsw means feet of seawater (or equivalent static pressure head).

Gas embolism means a condition caused by expanding gases, which have been taken into and retained in the lungs while breathing under pressure, being forced into the bloodstream or other tissues during ascent or decompression.

Heavy-weight diving outfit means diver-worn surface-supplied deep-sea dress.

Hyperbaric conditions means pressure conditions in excess of surface atmospheric pressure.

Injurious corrosion means an advanced state of corrosion which may impair the structural integrity or safe operation of the equipment.

Liveboating means the support of a surfaced-supplied diver from a vessel underway.

Maximum working pressure means the maximum pressure to which a pressure containment device can be exposed under operating conditions (usually the pressure setting of the pressure relief device).

No-decompression limits means the air depth and bottom time limits of appendix A.

Pressure vessel means a container capable of withstanding an internal maximum working pressure over 15 psig.

Psi(g) means pounds per square inch (gage).

PVHO means pressure vessel for human occupancy but does not include pressure vessels for human occupancy that may be subjected to external pressures in excess of 15 psig but can only be subjected to maximum internal pressures of 15 psig or less (i.e., submersibles, or one atmosphere observation bells).

Saturation diving means saturating a diver's tissues with the inert gas in the breathing mixture to allow an extension of bottom time without additional decompression.

SCUBA diving means a diving mode in which the diver is supplied with a compressed breathing mixture from diver carried equipment.

Standby diver means a diver at the dive location available to assist a diver in the water.

Surface-supplied air diving means a diving mode in which the diver is supplied from the dive location or bell with compressed breathing air including oxygen or oxygen enriched air if supplied for treatment.

Surface-supplied mixed-gas diving means a diving mode in which the diver is supplied from the dive location or bell with a compressed breathing mixture other than air.

Timekeeping device means a device for measuring the time of a dive in minutes.

Treatment table means a depth, time, and breathing gas profile designed to treat a diver for decompression sickness.

Umbilical means the hose bundle between a dive location and a diver or bell, or between a diver and a bell, that supplies the diver or bell with a life-line, breathing gas, communications, power, and heat as appropriate to the diving mode or conditions.

Vessel means any waterborne craft including mobile offshore drilling units required to have a Certificate of Inspection issued by the Coast Guard or any waterborne craft connected with a deepwater port or within the deepwater port safety zone, or any waterborne craft engaged in activities related to the Outer Continental Shelf.

Volume tank means a pressure vessel connected to the outlet of a compressor and used as an air reservoir.

Working pressure means the pressure to which a pressure containment device is exposed at any particular instant during normal operating conditions.

§ 197.205 - Availability of standards.

(a) Several standards have been incorporated by reference in this subchapter. The incorporation by reference has been approved by the Director of the Federal Register under the provisions of 1 CFR part 51.

(b) The standards are available from the appropriate organizations whose addresses are listed below:

(1) American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.

(2) American Society of Mechanical Engineers, United Engineering Center, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017.

[CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by CGD 96-041, 61 FR 50735, Sept. 27, 1996]

§ 197.206 - Substitutes for required equipment, materials, apparatus, arrangements, procedures, or tests.

(a) The Coast Guard may accept substitutes for equipment, materials, apparatus, arrangements, procedures, or tests required in this subpart if the substitute provides an equivalent level of safety.

(b) In any case where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commandant that the use of any particular equipment, material, apparatus, arrangement, procedure, or test is unreasonable or impracticable, the Commandant may permit the use of alternate equipment, material, apparatus, arrangement, procedure, or test to such an extent and upon such condition as will insure, to his satisfaction, a degree of safety consistent with the minimum standards set forth in this subpart.

§ 197.208 - Designation of person-in-charge.

(a) The owner or agent of a vessel or facility without a designated master shall designate, in writing, an individual to be the person-in-charge of the vessel or facility.

(b) Where a master is designated, the master is the person-in-charge.

§ 197.210 -

The name of the diving supervisor for each commercial diving operation shall be -

(a) Designated in writing; and

(b) Given to the person-in-charge prior to the commencement of any commercial diving operation.

EQUIPMENT

§ 197.300 - Applicability.

(a) Each diving installation used on each vessel or facility subject to this subpart must meet the requirements of this subpart.

(b) In addition to the requirements of this subpart, equipment which is permanently installed on vessels and is part of the diving installation must meet Subchapters F and J of this chapter.

(c) All repairs and modifications to pressure vessels used for commercial diving operations must be made in accordance with the requirements of section VIII, division 1 or division 2 of the ASME Code, ASME PVHO-1, part 54 of this chapter, or 49 CFR 173.34, as applicable.

(d) All repairs and modifications to pressure piping used for commercial diving operations must be made in accordance with the requirements of the ANSI Code or part 56 of this chapter, as applicable.

§ 197.310 - Air compressor system.

A compressor used to supply breathing air to a diver must have -

(a) A volume tank that is -

(1) Built and stamped in accordance with section VIII, division 1 of the ASME Code with -

(i) A check valve on the inlet side;

(ii) A pressure gage;

(iii) A relief valve; and

(iv) A drain valve; and

(2) Tested after every repair, modification, or alteration to the pressure boundaries as required by § 197.462;

(b) Intakes that are located away from areas containing exhaust fumes of internal combustion engines or other hazardous contaminants;

(c) An efficient filtration system; and

(d) Slow-opening shut-off valves when the maximum allowable working pressure of the system exceeds 500 psig.

§ 197.312 - Breathing supply hoses.

(a) Each breathing supply hose must -

(1) Have a maximum working pressure that is equal to or exceeds -

(i) The maximum working pressure of the section of the breathing supply system in which used; and

(ii) The pressure equivalent of the maximum depth of the dive relative to the supply source plus 100 psig;

(2) Have a bursting pressure of four times its maximum working pressure;

(3) Have connectors that -

(i) Are made of corrosion-resistant material;

(ii) Are resistant to accidental disengagement; and

(iii) Have a maximum working pressure that is at least equal to the maximum working pressure of the hose to which they are attached; and

(4) Resist kinking by -

(i) Being made of kink-resistant materials; or

(ii) Having exterior support.

(b) Each umbilical must -

(1) Meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section; and

(2) Be marked from the diver or open bell end in 10-foot intervals to 100 feet and in 50-foot intervals thereafter.

§ 197.314 - First aid and treatment equipment.

(a) Each dive location must have -

(1) A medical kit approved by a physician that consists of -

(i) Basic first aid supplies; and

(ii) Any additional supplies necessary to treat minor trauma and illnesses resulting from hyperbaric exposure;

(2) A copy of an American Red Cross Standard First Aid handbook;

(3) A bag-type manual resuscitator with transparent mask and tubing; and

(4) A capability to remove an injured diver from the water.

(b) Each diving installation must have a two-way communications system to obtain emergency assistance except when the vessel or facility ship-to-shore, two-way communications system is readily available.

(c) Each dive location supporting mixed-gas dives, dives deeper than 130 fsw, or dives outside the no-decompression limits must meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section and have -

(1) A decompression chamber;

(2) Decompression and treatment tables;

(3) A supply of breathing gases sufficient to treat for decompression sickness;

(4) The medical kit required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section that is -

(i) Capable of being carried into the decompression chamber; and

(ii) Suitable for use under hyperbaric conditions; and

(5) A capability to assist an injured diver into the decompression chamber.

§ 197.318 - Gages and timekeeping devices.

(a) A gage indicating diver depth must be at each dive location for surface-supplied dives.

(b) A timekeeping device must be at each dive location.

§ 197.320 - Diving ladder and stage.

(a) Each diving ladder must -

(1) Be capable of supporting the weight of at least two divers;

(2) Extend 3 feet below the water surface;

(3) Be firmly in place;

(4) Be available at the dive location for a diver to enter or exit the water unless a diving stage or bell is provided; and

(5) Be - (i) Made of corrosion-resistant material; or

(ii) Protected against and maintained free from injurious corrosion.

(b) Each diving stage must -

(1) Be capable of supporting the weight of at least two divers;

(2) Have an open-grating platform;

(3) Be available for a diver to enter or exit the water from the dive location and for in-water decompression if the diver is -

(i) Wearing a heavy-weight diving outfit; or

(ii) Diving outside the no-decompression limits, except when a bell is provided; and

(4) Be - (i) Made of corrosion-resistant material; or

(ii) Protected against and maintained free from injurious corrosion.

§ 197.322 - Surface-supplied helmets and masks.

(a) Each surface-supplied helmet or mask must have -

(1) A nonreturn valve at the attachment point between helmet or mask and umbilical that closes readily and positively;

(2) An exhaust valve; and

(3) A two-way voice communication system between the diver and the dive location or bell.

(b) Each surface-supplied air helmet or mask must -

(1) Ventilate at least 4.5 ACFM at any depth at which it is operated; or

(2) Be able to maintain the diver's inspired carbon dioxide partial pressure below 0.02 ATA when the diver is producing carbon dioxide at the rate of 1.6 standard liters per minute.

§ 197.324 - Diver's safety harness.

Each safety harness used in surface-supplied diving must have -

(a) A positive buckling device; and

(b) An attachment point for the umbilical life line that -

(1) Distributes the pulling force of the umbilical over the diver's body; and

(2) Prevents strain on the mask or helmet.

§ 197.326 - Oxygen safety.

(a) Equipment used with oxygen or oxygen mixtures greater than 40 percent by volume must be designed for such use.

(b) Oxygen systems with pressures greater than 125 psig must have slow-opening shut-off valves except pressure boundary shut-off valves may be ball valves.

§ 197.328 - PVHO - General.

(a) Each PVHO, contracted for or purchased after February 1, 1979, must be built and stamped in accordance with ASME PVHO-1.

(b) Each PVHO, contracted for or constructed before February 1, 1979, and not Coast Guard approved, must be submitted to the Coast Guard for approval prior to February 1, 1984.

(c) To be approved under paragraph (b), a PVHO must be -

(1) Constructed in accordance with part 54 of this chapter; or -

(2) Be built in accordance with section VIII, division 1 or division 2 of the ASME Code; and -

(i) Have the plans approved in accordance with § 54.01-18 of this chapter;

(ii) Pass the radiographic and other survey tests of welded joints required by section VIII, division 1 or division 2, as appropriate, of the ASME Code; and

(iii) Pass - (A) The hydrostatic test described in § 54.10-10 of this chapter; or

(B) The pneumatic test described in § 54.10-15 of this chapter and such additional tests as the Officer-in-Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) may require.

(d) Each PVHO must -

(1) Have a shut-off valve located within 1 foot of the pressure boundary on all piping penetrating the pressure boundary;

(2) Have a check valve located within 1 foot of the pressure boundary on all piping exclusively carrying fluids into the PVHO;

(3) Have the pressure relief device required by ASME PVHO-1;

(4) Have a built-in breathing system with at least one mask per occupant stored inside each separately pressurized compartment;

(5) Have a two-way voice communications system allowing communications between an occupant in one pressurized compartment of the PVHO and -

(i) The diving supervisor at the dive location;

(ii) Any divers being supported from the same PVHO; and

(iii) Occupants of other separately pressurized compartments of the same PVHO;

(6) If designed to mechanically couple to another PVHO, have a two-way communications system allowing communications between occupants of each PVHO when mechanically coupled;

(7) Have a pressure gage in the interior of each compartment that is -

(i) Designed for human occupancy; and

(ii) Capable of having the compartment pressure controlled from inside the PVHO;

(8) Have viewports that allow observation of occupants from the outside;

(9) Have viewports that meet the requirements of ASME PVHO-1 except those PVHO's approved under paragraph (b) of this section which have nonacrylic viewports;

(10) Have means of illumination sufficient to allow an occupant to -

(i) Read gages; and

(ii) Operate the installed systems within each compartment;

(11) Be designed and equipped to minimize sources of combustible materials and ignition;

(12) Have a protective device on the inlet side of PVHO exhaust lines;

(13) Have a means of extinguishing a fire in the interior;

(14) Have a means of maintaining the oxygen content of the interior atmosphere below 25 percent surface equivalent by volume when pressurized with air as the breathing mixture;

(15) Have a means of maintaining the interior atmosphere below 2 percent surface equivalent carbon dioxide by volume;

(16) Have a means of overriding and controlling from the exterior all interior breathing and pressure supply controls;

(17) Have a speech unscrambler when used with mixed-gas;

(18) Have interior electrical systems that are designed for the environment in which they will operate to minimize the risk of fire, electrical shock to personnel, and galvanic action of the PVHO; and

(19) Be tested after every repair, modification, or alteration to the pressure boundaries as required by § 197.462.

§ 197.330 - PVHO - Closed bells.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each closed bell must meet the requirements of § 197.328 and -

(1) Have underwater breathing apparatus for each occupant stored inside each separately pressurized compartment;

(2) Have an umbilical;

(3) Have lifting equipment attached to the closed bell capable of returning the occupied closed bell when fully flooded to the dive location;

(4) Be capable of recompressing on the surface to the maximum design diving depth;

(5) Be constructed and equipped as required by § 197.332;

(6) Have an emergency locating device designed to assist personnel on the surface in acquiring and maintaining contact with the submerged PVHO if the umbilical to the surface is severed;

(7) Have a capability to remove an injured diver from the water; and

(8) Have a life support capability for the intact closed bell and its occupants for -

(i) Twelve hours after an accident severing the umbilical to the surface when the umbilical to the surface is the only installed means of retrieving the closed bell; or

(ii) A period of time, at least equal to 1 hour plus twice the time required to retrieve the bell from its designed operating depth and attach an auxiliary lifesupport system, after an accident severing the umbilical to the surface when the umbilical is one of the two independent installed means of retrieving the closed bell, each meeting the requirements of paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(b) A closed bell that does not meet the requirements of paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5) of this section, must be capable of attachment to another PVHO that -

(1) Allows the transfer of personnel and diver's equipment under pressure from the closed bell to the PVHO;

(2) Meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(3) of this section;

(3) Is capable of attachment to a decompression chamber meeting the requirements of paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5) of this section; and

(4) Allows the transfer of personnel and diver's equipment under pressure from the PVHO to the decompression chamber.

§ 197.332 - PVHO - Decompression chambers.

Each decompression chamber must -

(a) Meet the requirements of § 197.328;

(b) Have internal dimensions sufficient to accommodate a diver lying in a horizontal position and another person tending the diver;

(c) Have a capability for ingress and egress of personnel and equipment while the occupants are under pressure;

(d) Have a means of operating all installed man-way locking devices, except disabled shipping dogs, from both sides of a closed hatch;

(e) Have interior illumination sufficient to allow visual observation, diagnosis, and medical treatment of an occupant.

(f) Have one bunk for each two occupants;

(g) Have a capability that allows bunks to be seen over their entire lengths from the exterior;

(h) Have a minimum pressure capability of -

(1) 6 ATA, when used for diving to 300 fsw; or

(2) The maximum depth of the dive, when used for diving operations deeper than 300 fsw, unless a closed bell meeting the requirements of § 197.330(a) (3), (4), and (5) is used;

(i) Have a minimum pressurization rate of 2 ATA per minute to 60 fsw and at least 1 ATA per minute thereafter;

(j) Have a decompression rate of 1 ATA per minute to 33 fsw;

(k) Have an external pressure gage for each pressurized compartment;

(l) Have a capability to supply breathing mixtures at the maximum rate required by each occupant doing heavy work; and

(m) Have a sound-powered headset or telephone as a backup to the communications system required by § 197.328(c) (5) and (6), except when that communications system is a sound-powered system.

§ 197.334 - Open diving bells.

Each open diving bell must -

(a) Have an upper section that provides an envelope capable of maintaining a bubble of breathing mixture available to a diver standing on the lower section of the platform with his body through the open bottom and his head in the bubble;

(b) Have lifting equipment capable of returning the occupied open bell to the dive location;

(c) Have an umbilical; and

(d) Be - (1) Made of corrosion-resisting material; or

(2) Protected against and maintained free from injurious corrosion.

§ 197.336 - Pressure piping.

Piping systems that are not an integral part of the vessel or facility, carrying fluids under pressures exceeding 15 psig must -

(a) Meet the ANSI Code;

(b) Have the point of connection to the integral piping system of the vessel or facility clearly marked; and

(c) Be tested after every repair, modification, or alteration to the pressure boundaries as set forth in § 197.462.

§ 197.338 - Compressed gas cylinders.

Each compressed gas cylinder must -

(a) Be stored in a ventilated area;

(b) Be protected from excessive heat;

(c) Be prevented from falling;

(d) Be tested after any repair, modification, or alteration to the pressure boundaries as set forth in § 197.462; and

(e) Meet the requirements of -

(1) Part 54 of this chapter; or

(2) 49 CFR 173.34 and 49 CFR part 178, subpart C.

§ 197.340 - Breathing gas supply.

(a) A primary breathing gas supply for surface-supplied diving must be sufficient to support the following for the duration of the planned dive:

(1) The diver.

(2) The standby diver.

(3) The decompression chamber, when required by § 197.432(e)(2) or by § 197.434(a) for the duration of the dive and for one hour after completion of the planned dive.

(4) A decompression chamber when provided but not required by this subpart.

(5) A closed bell when provided or required by § 197.434(d).

(6) An open bell when provided or required by § 197.432(e)(4) or by § 197.434(c).

(b) A secondary breathing gas supply for surface-supplied diving must be sufficient to support the following:

(1) The diver while returning to the surface.

(2) The diver during decompression.

(3) The standby diver.

(4) The decompression chamber when required by § 197.432(e)(2) or by § 197.434(a) for the duration of the dive and one hour after the completion of the planned dive.

(5) The closed bell while returning the diver to the surface.

(6) The open bell while returning the diver to the surface.

(c) A diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply for surface-supplied diving must be sufficient to allow the diver to -

(1) Reach the surface.

(2) Reach another source of breathing gas; or

(3) Be reached by a standby diver equipped with another source of breathing gas for the diver.

(d) A primary breathing gas supply for SCUBA diving must be sufficient to support the diver for the duration of the planned dive through his return to the dive location or planned pick-up point.

(e) A diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply for SCUBA diving must be sufficient to allow the diver to return to the dive location or planned pick-up point from the greatest depth of the planned dive.

(f) Oxygen used for breathing mixtures must -

(1) Meet the requirements of Federal Specification BB-0-925a; and

(2) Be type 1 (gaseous) grade A or B.

(g) Nitrogen used for breathing mixtures must -

(1) Meet the requirements of Federal Specification BB-N-411c;

(2) Be type 1 (gaseous);

(3) Be class 1 (oil free); and

(4) Be grade A, B, or C.

(h) Helium used for breathing mixtures must be grades A, B, or C produced by the Federal Government, or equivalent.

(i) Compressed air used for breathing mixtures must -

(1) Be 20 to 22 percent oxygen by volume;

(2) Have no objectionable odor; and

(3) Have no more than -

(i) 1,000 parts per million of carbon dioxide;

(ii) 20 parts per million carbon monoxide;

(iii) 5 milligrams per cubic meter of solid and liquid particulates including oil; and

(iv) 25 parts per million of hydrocarbons (includes methane and all other hydrocarbons expressed as methane).

§ 197.342 - Buoyancy-changing devices.

(a) A dry suit or other buoyancy-changing device not directly connected to the exhaust valve of the helmet or mask must have an independent exhaust valve.

(b) When used for SCUBA diving, a buoyancy-changing device must have an inflation source separate from the breathing gas supply.

§ 197.344 - Inflatable floatation devices.

An inflatable floatation device for SCUBA diving must -

(a) Be capable of maintaining the diver at the surface in a faceup position;

(b) Have a manually activated inflation device;

(c) Have an oral inflation device;

(d) Have an over-pressure relief device; and

(e) Have a manually operated exhaust valve.

§ 197.346 - Diver's equipment.

(a) Each diver using SCUBA must have -

(1) Self-contained underwater breathing equipment including -

(i) A primary breathing gas supply with a cylinder pressure gage readable by the diver during the dive; and

(ii) A diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply provided by -

(A) A manual reserve (J valve); or

(B) An independent reserve cylinder connected and ready for use;

(2) A face mask;

(3) An inflatable floatation device;

(4) A weight belt capable of quick release;

(5) A knife;

(6) Swim fins or shoes;

(7) A diving wristwatch; and

(8) A depth gage.

(b) Each diver using a heavyweight diving outfit must -

(1) Have a helmet group consisting of helmet, breastplate, and associated valves and connections;

(2) Have a diving dress group consisting of a basic dress that encloses the body (except for head and hands) in a tough, waterproof cover, gloves, shoes, weight assembly, and knife;

(3) Have a hose group consisting of the breathing gas hose and fittings, the control valve, the lifeline, communications cable, and a pneumofathometer; and

(4) Be provided with a helmet cushion and weighted shoes.

(c) Each surface-supplied dive operation using a heavyweight diving outfit must have an extra breathing gas hose with attaching tools available to the standby diver.

(d) Each diver using a lightweight diving outfit must have -

(1) A safety harness;

(2) A weight assembly capable of quick release;

(3) A mask group consisting of a lightweight mask and associated valves and connections;

(4) A diving dress group consisting of wet or dry diving dress, gloves, shoes or fins, and knife; and

(5) A hose group consisting of the breathing gas hose and fittings, the control valve, the lifeline, communications cable, and a pneumofathometer (if the breaking strength of the communications cable is at least equal to that required for the lifeline, the communications cable can serve as the lifeline).

(e) Each surface-supplied air dive operation within the no-decompression limits and to depths of 130 fsw or less must have a primary breathing gas supply at the dive location.

(f) Each surface-supplied dive operation outside the no-compression limits, deeper than 130 fsw, or using mixed-gas as a breathing mixture must have at the dive location -

(1) A primary breathing gas supply; and

(2) A secondary breathing gas supply.

(g) Each diver diving outside the no-decompression limits, deeper than 130 fsw, or using mixed-gas must have a diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply except when using a heavy-weight diving outfit or when diving in a physically confining area.

OPERATIONS

§ 197.400 - Applicability.

Diving operations may only be conducted from a vessel or facility subject to the subpart if the regulations in this subpart are met.

§ 197.402 - Responsibilities of the person-in-charge.

(a) The person-in-charge shall -

(1) Be fully cognizant of the provisions of this subpart;

(2) Prior to permitting any commercial diving operation to commence, have -

(i) The designation of the diving supervisor for each diving operation as required by § 197.210;

(ii) A report on -

(A) The nature and planned times of the planned diving operation; and

(B) The planned involvement of the vessel or facility, its equipment, and its personnel in the diving operation.

(b) Prior to permitting any commercial diving operation involving liveboating to commence, the person-in-charge shall insure that -

(1) A means of rapid communications with the diving supervisor while the diver is entering, in, or leaving the water is established; and

(2) A boat and crew for diver pickup in the event of an emergency is provided.

(c) The person-in-charge shall insure that a boat and crew for SCUBA diver pickup is provided when SCUBA divers are not line-tended from the dive location.

(d) The person-in-charge shall coordinate the activities on and of the vessel or facility with the diving supervisor.

(e) The person-in-charge shall insure that the vessel or facility equipment and personnel are kept clear of the dive location except after coordinating with the diving supervisor.

[CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58289, Sept. 29, 2014]

§ 197.404 - Responsibilities of the diving supervisor.

(a) The diving supervisor shall -

(1) Be fully cognizant of the provisions of this subpart;

(2) Be fully cognizant of the provisions of the operations manual required by § 197.420;

(3) Insure that diving operations conducted from a vessel or facility subject to this subpart meet the regulations in this subpart;

(4) Prior to the commencement of any commercial diving operation, provide the report required by § 197.402 to the person-in-charge;

(5) Coordinate with the person-in-charge any changes that are made to the report required by § 197.402; and

(6) Promptly notify the person-in-charge of any diving related casualty, accident, or injury.

(b) The diving supervisor is in charge of the planning and execution of the diving operation including the responsibility for the safety and health of the dive team.

§ 197.410 - Dive procedures.

(a) The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(1) Before commencing diving operations, dive team members are briefed on -

(i) The tasks to be undertaken;

(ii) Any unusual hazards or environmental conditions likely to affect the safety of the diving operation; and

(iii) Any modifications to the operations manual or procedures including safety procedures necessitated by the specific diving operation;

(2) The breathing gas supply systems, masks, helmets, thermal protection, when provided, and bell lifting equipment, when a bell is provided or required, are inspected prior to each diving operation;

(3) Each diver is instructed to report any physical problems or physiological effects including aches, pains, current illnesses, or symptoms of decompression sickness prior to each dive;

(4) A depth, bottom time profile, including any breathing mixture changes, is maintained at the dive location for each diver during the dive, except that SCUBA divers shall maintain their own profiles;

(5) A two-way voice communication system is used between -

(i) Each surface-supplied diver and a dive team member at the dive location or bell (when provided); and

(ii) The bell (when provided) and the dive location;

(6) A two-way communication system is available at the dive location to obtain emergency assistance;

(7) After the completion of each dive -

(i) The physical condition of the diver is checked by -

(A) Visual observation; and

(B) Questioning the diver about his physical well-being;

(ii) The diver is instructed to report any physical problems or adverse physiological effects including aches, pains, current illnesses, or symptoms of decompression sickness or gas embolism;

(iii) The diver is advised of the location of an operational decompression chamber; and

(iv) The diver is alerted to the potential hazards of flying after diving;

(8) For any dive outside the no-decompression limits, deeper than 130 fsw, or using mixed-gas as a breathing mixture -

(i) A depth, time, decompression profile including breathing mixture changes is maintained for each diver at the dive location;

(ii) The diver is instructed to remain awake and in the vicinity of the dive location decompression chamber for at least one hour after the completion of a dive, decompression, or treatment; and

(iii) A dive team member, other than the diver, is trained and available to operate the decompression chamber; and

(9) When decompression sickness or gas embolism is suspected or symptoms are evident, a report is completed containing -

(i) The investigation for each incident including -

(A) The dive and decompression profiles;

(B) The composition, depth, and time of breathing mixture changes;

(C) A description of the symptoms including depth and time of onset; and

(D) A description and results of the treatment;

(ii) The evaluation for each incident based on -

(A) The investigation;

(B) Consideration of the past performance of the decompression table used; and

(C) Individual susceptibility; and

(iii) The corrective action taken, if necessary, to reduce the probability of recurrence.

(b) The diving supervisor shall ensure that the working interval of a dive is terminated when he so directs or when -

(1) A diver requests termination;

(2) A diver fails to respond correctly to communications or signals from a dive team member;

(3) Communications are lost and cannot be quickly reestablished between -

(i) The diver and a dive team member at the dive location; or

(ii) The person-in-charge and the diving supervisor during liveboating operations; or

(4) A diver begins to use his diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply.

[CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58289, Sept. 29, 2014]

§ 197.420 - Operations manual.

(a) The diving supervisor shall -

(1) Provide an operations manual to the person-in-charge prior to commencement of any diving operation; and

(2) Make an operations manual available at the dive location to all members of the dive team.

(b) The operations manual must be modified in writing when adaptation is required because of -

(1) The configuration or operation of the vessel or facility; or

(2) The specific diving operation as planned.

(c) The operations manual must provide for the safety and health of the divers.

(d) The operations manual must contain the following:

(1) Safety procedures and checklists for each diving mode used.

(2) Assignments and responsibilities of each dive team member for each diving mode used.

(3) Equipment procedures and checklists for each diving mode used.

(4) Emergency procedures for -

(i) Fire;

(ii) Equipment failure;

(iii) Adverse environmental conditions including, but not limited to, weather and sea state;

(iv) Medical illness; and

(v) Treatment of injury.

(5) Procedures dealing with the use of -

(i) Hand-held power tools;

(ii) Welding and burning equipment; and

(iii) Explosives.

SPECIFIC DIVING MODE PROCEDURES

§ 197.430 - SCUBA diving.

The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(a) SCUBA diving is not conducted -

(1) Outside the no-decompression limits;

(2) At depths greater than 130 fsw;

(3) Against currents greater than one (1) knot unless line-tended; and

(4) If a diver cannot directly ascend to the surface unless line-tended;

(b) The SCUBA diver has the equipment required by § 197.346(a);

(c) A standby diver is available while a diver is in the water;

(d) A diver is line-tended from the surface or accompanied by another diver in the water in continuous visual contact during the diving operation;

(e) When a diver is in a physically confining space, another diver is stationed at the underwater point of entry and is line-tending the diver; and

(f) A boat is available for diver pickup when the divers are not line-tended from the dive location.

§ 197.432 - Surface-supplied air diving.

The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(a) Surface-supplied air diving is conducted at depths less than 190 fsw, except that dives with bottom times of 30 minutes or less may be conducted to depths of 220 fsw;

(b) Each diving operation has a primary breathing gas supply;

(c) Each diver is continuously tended while in the water;

(d) When a diver is in a physically confining space, another diver is stationed at the underwater point of entry and is line-tending the diver;

(e) For dives deeper than 130 fsw or outside the no-decompression limits -

(1) Each diving operation has a secondary breathing gas supply;

(2) A decompression chamber is ready for use at the dive location;

(3) A diving stage is used except when a bell is provided;

(4) A bell is used for dives with an in-water decompression time greater than 120 minutes, except when the diver is using a heavy-weight diving outfit or is diving in a physically confining space;

(5) A separate dive team member tends each diver in the water;

(6) A standby diver is available while a diver is in the water; and

(7) Each diver has a diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply except when using a heavy-weight diving outfit or when diving in a physically confining space; and

(f) The surface-supplied air diver has the equipment required by § 197.346 (b) or (d).

§ 197.434 - Surface-supplied mixed-gas diving.

The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(a) When mixed-gas diving is conducted, a decompression chamber or a closed bell meeting the requirements of § 197.332 is ready for use at the dive location;

(b) A diving stage is used except when a bell is provided;

(c) A bell is used for dives deeper than 220 fsw or when the dive involves in-water decompression times greater than 120 minutes, except when the diver is using a heavy-weight diving outfit or is diving in a physically confining space;

(d) A closed bell is used for dives at depths greater than 300 fsw, except when diving is conducted in a physically confining space;

(e) A separate dive team member tends each diver in the water;

(f) A standby diver is available during all nonsaturation dives;

(g) When saturation diving is conducted -

(1) A standby diver is available when the closed bell leaves the dive location until the divers are in saturation; and

(2) A member of the dive team at the dive location is a diver able to assist in the recovery of the closed bell or its occupants, if required;

(h) When closed bell operations are conducted, a diver is available in the closed bell to assist a diver in the water;

(i) When a diver is in a physically confining space, another diver is stationed at the underwater point of entry and is line-tending the diver;

(j) Each diving operation has a primary and secondary breathing gas supply meeting the requirements of § 197.340; and

(k) The surface-supplied mixed-gas diver has the equipment required by § 197.346 (b) or (d).

§ 197.436 - Liveboating.

(a) During liveboating operations, the person-in-charge shall insure that -

(1) Diving is not conducted in seas that impede station-keeping ability of the vessel;

(2) Liveboating operations are not conducted -

(i) From 1 hour after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise; or

(ii) During periods of restricted visibility;

(3) The propellers of the vessel are stopped before the diver enters or exits the water; and

(4) A boat is ready to be launched with crew in the event of an emergency.

(b) As used in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, restricted visibility means any condition in which vessel navigational visibility is restricted by fog, mist, falling snow, heavy rainstorms, sandstorms or any other similar causes.

(c) During liveboating operations, the diving supervisor shall insure that -

(1) Diving is not conducted at depths greater than 220 fsw;

(2) Diving is not conducted in seas that impede diver mobility or work function;

(3) A means is used to prevent the diver's hose from entangling in the propellers of the vessel;

(4) Each diver carries a reserve breathing gas supply;

(5) A standby diver is available while a diver is in the water;

(6) Diving is not conducted with in-water decompression times greater than 120 minutes; and

(7) The person-in-charge is notified before a diver enters or exits the water.

PERIODIC TESTS AND INSPECTIONS OF DIVING EQUIPMENT

§ 197.450 - Breathing gas tests.

The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(a) The output of each air compressor is tested and meets the requirements of § 197.340 for quality and quantity by means of samples taken at the connection point to the distribution system -

(1) Every 6 months; and

(2) After every repair or modification.

(b) Purchased supplies of breathing mixtures supplied to a diver are checked before being placed on line for -

(1) Certification that the supply meets the requirements of § 197.340; and

(2) Noxious or offensive odor and oxygen percentage;

(c) Each breathing supply system is checked, prior to commencement of diving operations, at the umbilical or underwater breathing apparatus connection point for the diver, for noxious or offensive odor and presence of oil mist; and

(d) Each breathing supply system, supplying mixed-gas to a diver, is checked, prior to commencement of diving operations, at the umbilical or underwater breathing apparatus connection point for the diver, for percentage of oxygen.

§ 197.452 - Oxygen cleaning.

The diving supervisor shall ensure that equipment used with oxygen or oxygen mixtures greater than 40 percent by volume is cleaned of flammable materials -

(a) Before being placed into service; and

(b) After any repair, alteration, modification, or suspected contamination.

§ 197.454 - First aid and treatment equipment.

The diving supervisor shall ensure that medical kits are checked monthly to insure that all required supplies are present.

§ 197.456 - Breathing supply hoses.

(a) The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(1) Each breathing supply hose is pressure tested prior to being placed into initial service and every 24 months thereafter to 1.5 times its maximum working pressure;

(2) Each breathing supply hose assembly, prior to being placed into initial service and after any repair, modification, or alteration, is tensile tested by -

(i) Subjecting each hose-to-fitting connection to a 200 pound axial load; and

(ii) Passing a visual examination for evidence of separation, slippage, or other damage to the assembly;

(3) Each breathing supply hose is periodically checked for -

(i) Damage which is likely to affect pressure integrity; and

(ii) Contamination which is likely to affect the purity of the breathing mixture delivered to the diver; and

(4) The open ends of each breathing supply hose are taped, capped, or plugged when not in use.

(b) To meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(3) of this section, each breathing supply hose must be -

(1) Carefully inspected before being shipped to the dive location;

(2) Visually checked during daily operation; and

(3) Checked for noxious or offensive odor before each diving operation.

§ 197.458 - Gages and timekeeping devices.

The diving supervisor shall insure that -

(a) Each depth gage and timekeeping device is tested or calibrated against a master reference gage or time-keeping device every 6 months;

(b) A depth gage is tested when a discrepancy exists in a depth gage reading greater than 2 percent of full scale between any two gages of similar range and calibration;

(c) A timekeeping device is tested when a discrepancy exists in a timekeeping device reading greater than one-quarter of a minute in a 4-hour period between any two timekeeping devices; and

(d) Each depth gage and timekeeping device is inspected before diving operations are begun.

§ 197.460 - Diving equipment.

The diving supervisor shall insure that the diving equipment designated for use in a dive under § 197.346 is inspected before each dive.

§ 197.462 - Pressure vessels and pressure piping.

(a) The diving supervisor shall ensure that each pressure vessel, including each volume tank, cylinder and PVHO, and each pressure piping system is examined and tested as required by this section and after any repair, modification or alteration to determine that they are in satisfactory condition and fit for the service intended.

(b) Pressure vessels and pressure piping shall be examined annually for mechanical damage or deterioration. Any defect that may impair the safety of the pressure vessel or piping shall be repaired and pressure tested to the satisfaction of the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection.

(c) The following tests shall be conducted at least every three years:

(1) All piping permanently installed on a PVHO shall be pressure tested.

(2) PVHOs subject to internal pressure shall be leak tested at the maximum allowable working pressure using the breathing mixture normally used in service.

(3) Equivalent nondestructive testing may be conducted in lieu of pressure testing. Proposals to use nondestructive testing in lieu of pressure testing shall be submitted to the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection.

(d) Unless otherwise noted, pressure tests conducted in accordance with this section shall be either hydrostatic tests or pneumatic tests.

(1) When a hydrostatic test is conducted on a pressure vessel, the test pressure shall be no less than 1.25 times the maximum allowable working pressure.

(2) When a pneumatic test is conducted on a pressure vessel, the test pressure shall be the maximum allowable working pressure stamped on the nameplate.

(3) When a pneumatic test is conducted on piping, the test pressure shall be no less than 90 percent of the setting of the relief device.

(4) Pressure tests shall be conducted only after suitable precautions are taken to protect personnel and equipment.

(5) When pressure tests are conducted on pressure vessels or pressure piping, the test pressure shall be maintained for a period of time sufficient to allow examination of all joints, connections and high stress areas.

[CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51220, Sept. 30, 1997]
RECORDS

§ 197.480 - Logbooks.

(a) The person-in-charge of a vessel or facility, that is required by 46 U.S.C. 11301 to have an official logbook, shall maintain the logbook on form CG-706.

(b) The person-in-charge of a vessel or facility not required by 46 U.S.C. 11301 to have an official logbook, shall maintain, on board, a logbook for making the entries required by this subpart.

(c) The diving supervisor conducting commercial diving operations from a vessel or facility subject to this subpart shall maintain a logbook for making the entries required by this subpart.

[CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51220, Sept. 30, 1997]

§ 197.482 - Logbook entries.

(a) The person-in-charge shall insure that the following information is recorded in the logbook for each commercial diving operation:

(1) Date, time, and location at the start and completion of dive operations.

(2) Approximate underwater and surface conditions (weather, visibility, temperatures, and currents).

(3) Name of the diving supervisor.

(4) General nature of work performed.

(b) The diving supervisor shall insure that the following information is recorded in the logbook for each commercial diving operation:

(1) Date, time, and location at the start and completion of each dive operation.

(2) Approximate underwater and surface conditions (weather, visibility, temperatures, and currents).

(3) Names of dive team members including diving supervisor.

(4) General nature of work performed.

(5) Repetitive dive designation or elapsed time since last hyperbaric exposure if less than 24 hours for each diver.

(6) Diving modes used.

(7) Maximum depth and bottom time for each diver.

(8) Name of person-in-charge.

(9) For each dive outside the no-decompression limits, deeper than 130 fsw, or using mixed-gas, the breathing gases and decompression table designations used.

(10) When decompression sickness or gas embolism is suspected or symptoms are evident -

(i) The name of the diver; and

(ii) A description and results of treatment.

(11) For each fatality or any diving related injury or illness that results in incapacitation of more than 72 hours or requires any dive team member to be hospitalized for more than 24 hours -

(i) The date;

(ii) Time;

(iii) Circumstances; and

(iv) Extent of any injury or illness.

(c) The diving supervisor shall insure that the following is recorded in the logbook for each diving operation deviating from the requirements of this subpart:

(1) A description of the circumstances leading to the situation.

(2) The deviations made.

(3) The corrective action taken, if appropriate, to reduce the possibility of recurrence.

(d) The diving supervisor shall insure that a record of the following is maintained:

(1) The date and results of each check of the medical kits.

(2) The date and results of each test of the air compressor.

(3) The date and results of each check of breathing mixtures.

(4) The date and results of each check of each breathing supply system.

(5) The date, equipment cleaned, general cleaning procedure, and names of persons cleaning the diving equipment for oxygen service.

(6) The date and results of each test of the breathing supply hoses and system.

(7) The date and results of each inspection of the breathing gas supply system.

(8) The date and results of each test of depth gages and timekeeping devices.

(9) The date and results of each test and inspection of each PVHO.

(10) The date and results of each inspection of the diving equipment.

(11) The date and results of each test and inspection of pressure piping.

(12) The date and results of each test and inspection of volume tanks and cylinders.

(e) The diving supervisor shall insure that a notation concerning the location of the information required under paragraph (d) is made in the logbook.

Note:

46 U.S.C. 11301 requires that certain entries be made in an official logbook in addition to the entries required by this section; and 46 U.S.C. 11302 prescribes the manner of making those entries.

[CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by USCG-1999-6216, 64 FR 53229, Oct. 1, 1999]

§ 197.484 - Notice of casualty.

(a) In addition to the requirements of subpart 4.05 of this chapter and 33 CFR 146.30, the person-in-charge shall notify the Officer-in-Charge, Marine Inspection, as soon as possible after a diving casualty occurs, if the casualty involves any of the following:

(1) Loss of life.

(2) Diving-related injury to any person causing incapacitation for more than 72 hours.

(3) Diving-related injury to any person requiring hospitalization for more than 24 hours.

(b) The notice required by this section must contain the following:

(1) Name and official number (if applicable) of the vessel or facility.

(2) Name of the owner or agent of the vessel or facility.

(3) Name of the person-in-charge.

(4) Name of the diving supervisor.

(5) Description of the casualty including presumed cause.

(6) Nature and extent of the injury to persons.

(c) The notice required by this section is not required if the written report required by § 197.486 is submitted within 5 days of the casualty.

[CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by CGD 95-072, 60 FR 50469, Sept. 29, 1995]

§ 197.486 - Written report of casualty.

The person-in-charge of a vessel or facility for which a notice of casualty was made under § 197.484 shall submit a report to the Officer-in-Charge, Marine Inspection, as soon as possible after the casualty occurs, as follows:

(a) On Form CG-2692, when the diving installation is on a vessel.

(b) Using a written report, in narrative form, when the diving installation is on a facility. The written report must contain the information required by § 197.484.

(c) The report required by this section must be accompanied by a copy of the report required by § 197.410(a)(9) when decompression sickness is involved.

(d) The report required by this section must include information relating to alcohol or drug involvement as required by § 4.05-12 of this chapter.

(The reporting requirement in paragraph (a) was approved by OMB under control number 1625-0001) [CGD 76-009, 43 FR 53683, Nov. 16, 1978, as amended by CGD 82-023, 47 FR 35748, Aug. 16, 1982; 48 FR 43328, Sept. 23, 1983; CGD 84-099, 52 FR 47536, Dec. 14, 1987; USCG-2006-25697, 71 FR 55747, Sept. 25, 2006]

§ 197.488 - Retention of records after casualty.

(a) The owner, agent, or person-in-charge of a vessel or facility for which a report of casualty is made under § 197.484 shall retain all records onboard that are maintained on the vessel or facility and those records required by this subpart for 6 months after the report of a casualty is made or until advised by the Officer-in-Charge, Marine Inspection, that records need not be retained onboard.

(b) The records required by paragraph (a) of this section to be retained on board include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) All logbooks required by § 197.480.

(2) All reports required by § 197.402(a)(2)(ii), § 197.404(a)(4), § 197.410(a)(9).

(c) The owner, agent, person-in-charge, or diving supervisor shall, upon request, make the records described in this section available for examination by any Coast Guard official authorized to investigate the casualty.