Scientific Dive Safety

Scientific Diving monitors the health and safety of scuba divers operating under University of Michigan sanctioned programs or research in accord with established state and federal regulations.

Personnel Evaluation

All divers are evaluated by the Diving Safety Coordinator including medical fitness, training, knowledge, and skill proficiency. Upon compliance with established requirements and regulations, an authorization document is issued to each qualified diver and their supervisor. Thereafter, each diver is evaluated for medical fitness annually. Periodic competency evaluations are also conducted based on activity and need.

Personnel Protection Program

The Diving Safety Coordinator reviews health and safety aspects of research projects and instructional activities which involve skin, scuba, or surface-supplied diving. Consultation can be provided with regard to personnel selection and training, work site evaluation and hazards identification, equipment requirements, diving protocol, and operational safety. This program informs divers and their supervisors of job-related hazards. It is also designed to help divers understand the potential risk of working underwater, equipment and procedures to minimize risk exposure, and what divers can do to protect themselves.

Diver Training Programs

Training programs include the Periodic Diver Update, Oxygen Provider, Diving Injury management, and Scientific Diver. Additional programs can be provided as needed.

Annual Renewal

Diving Authorizations must be renewed annually. Divers are requested to:

  • Submit documentation of diving activity for prior 12 months.
  • Complete an annual Divers Medical Examination.
  • At the discretion of the Diving Safety Coordinator, University Authorized Divers may be requested to submit to periodic knowledge and skill evaluation or complete a knowledge/skill refresher program.

Diver Authorization

Persons wishing to utilize diving in conjunction with employment, research, or educational activity may apply for diving authorization as follows:

  • Complete and submit an Application for Diver Authorization to the Diving Safety Coordinator.
  • Submit copies of all diving related credentials (certifications cards, certificates, authorizations from other universities or agencies at 6-2019 for the application).
  • Submit documentation of past 5 years of diving activity (logbook, descriptive summary, etc.).
  • Submit a brief written description of intended underwater activity including geographic locations, anticipated environmental conditions, anticipated maximum dive depth requirements, and nature of underwater tasks.
  • Complete an interview with the Diving Safety Coordinator.

Upon satisfactory completion of the above, the Diving Safety Coordinator will:

  • Advise applicants with regard to addition training requirements, if any.
  • Authorize a Divers Medical Examination in accord with Occupational Safety and Environmental Health policy.
  • Develop and administer an appropriate applicant evaluation procedure, if need. This procedure may include swimming, diving skill, and knowledge evaluation.
  • Request applicant to complete training and certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in an approved American Red Cross or equivalent course.
  • Evaluate condition of applicants diving equipment or University-owned diving equipment to be used and specify technical inspection & maintenance requirements by a qualified technician. Documentation thereof shall be submitted to the Diving Safety Coordinator.
  • Provide applicant with a copy of the University‚Äôs Manual of Safe Diving Practices and health and safety guidelines applicable to their diving activities.

Upon satisfactory completion of medical examination, CPR/First Aid Certification, and any additional training requirements the Diving Safety Coordinator will submit a recommendation for Diver Authorization to the Executive Director of OSEH who may accept the recommendation and grant authorization or require additional evaluation or training.

Upon approval the Diving Safety Coordinator will issue a University Diver Authorization document specifying:

  • Medical approval
  • CPR/first aid certification
  • Diving depth and environment(s)
  • Training and certification
  • Special equipment and breathing gas endorsements, if any
  • Restrictions
  • Date of expiration

Diving Authorizations are valid for one (1) year from date of medical examination.