Canada–Nova Scotia Offshore Area Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/2021-248)
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Regulations are current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2022-01-01. Previous Versions
PART 31Hazardous Substances (continued)
Marginal note:Instruction and training
162 The instruction and training that every employer must provide to its employees includes
(a) if the employee is likely to handle or be exposed to a hazardous substance, training with respect to the content required on labels and safety data sheets and the purpose and significance of that content;
(b) if the employee installs, operates, maintains or repairs a piping system that contains a hazardous substance, or any component of such a system, training with respect to the significance of the colour-coding, signage or other markings referred to in subparagraph 157(1)(q)(iii); and
(c) if the employee is one referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), instruction with respect to procedures for the safe storage, handling, use and disposal of the hazardous substances to which they may be exposed, including procedures to be followed in an emergency involving a hazardous substance or when a fugitive emission is present.
Marginal note:Provision of information in emergency
163 For the purpose of subsection 210.023(1) of the Act, a medic is a prescribed medical professional.
164 The following definitions apply in this Part.
- decompression table
decompression table means a table or set of tables that shows a schedule of rates for safe descent and ascent and decompression stop times, having regard to the breathing mixture to be used by a diver during a dive. (table de décompression)
- dive contractor
dive contractor means an employer that exercises direction and control over diving operations at a workplace. (entrepreneur en plongée)
- dive team
dive team means all divers, standby divers, dive support personnel and dive supervisors on a dive project. (équipe de plongée)
- dive safety specialist
dive safety specialist means a person designated under subsection 168(1). (spécialiste de la sécurité en plongée)
Marginal note:Occupational health and safety program
165 The risks associated with diving operations are prescribed risks for the purpose of paragraph 210.02(2)(a) of the Act and the occupational health and safety program in respect of a workplace from which a dive project is carried out must include
(a) procedures for consulting with employees who perform a variety of roles in the diving operations, including members of the dive team, with respect to the management of risks to divers’ health and safety;
(b) procedures for obtaining the agreement of the dive safety specialists designated in respect of the dive project with respect to the hazards identified, the risks assessed and the hazard control measures to be implemented;
(c) procedures for safely carrying out each task associated with the dive project, including with regard to the equipment to be used;
(d) procedures for ensuring divers’ safe and controlled entry into and exit from the water;
(e) procedures for carrying out decompression in a manner that will minimize decompression sickness or other adverse effects on divers, including having regard to repetitive factor and residual inert gases;
(f) procedures for treating decompression sickness, including decompression sickness that results from planned or unplanned omitted decompression, and communicating with a specialized dive physician in respect of that treatment;
(g) procedures for responding to hazardous weather or water conditions;
(h) procedures for aborting and resuming dives;
(i) procedures for calculating — in a manner that allows for leakage, waste and other unplanned depletions — the quantities of breathing mixtures required by divers, including for both primary and secondary use and for therapeutic treatment;
(j) procedures for storing breathing mixtures that, among other things, identify a single Canadian or international standard to be used for the colour-coding of all gas cylinders and quads or other banks associated with the dive project;
(k) procedures for providing breathing mixtures to divers;
(l) procedures for ensuring that all materials or objects introduced into or used in diving bells or compression chambers do not contain or produce gases or vapours that may be harmful to divers;
(m) procedures for maintaining divers’ thermal balance and comfort, including by heating their breathing mixtures if necessary and ensuring the continued supply of heat in the event of any failure of the primary thermal control system;
(n) procedures for installing barriers or isolating energy sources as necessary to protect divers from contact with hazards;
(o) procedures for ensuring that the dive contractor is made aware of any seismic work being carried out in the vicinity of the workplace that may pose a risk to divers’ health or safety and for communicating with the persons carrying out that seismic work;
(p) procedures for assessing seabed or seawater contamination levels in areas in which contamination is a known hazard; and
(q) if the workplace is a dynamically positioned vessel,
(i) procedures for responding to changes in its station keeping status,
(ii) procedures for operating in close proximity to marine installations or structures or other physical obstacles,
(iii) procedures for guarding against thruster wash and suction effect,
(iv) procedures for preventing equipment entanglement, and
(v) procedures for repositioning the vessel that address, among other things, the maximum increments for repositioning and heading change while divers are in the water.
166 It is prohibited to carry out the following diving activities at or from any workplace:
(a) diving using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA); and
(b) surface-supplied diving using a breathing mixture that contains helium.
167 The instruction that every dive contractor must provide to all dive team members includes instruction on the hazards of diving in cold water and the appropriate emergency response to any loss of heating to a diver, their breathing mixture or their equipment.
Marginal note:Dive safety specialists
168 (1) The operator of a workplace from which a dive project is to be carried out and the dive contractor that exercises direction and control over the diving operations at that workplace must each designate in writing a competent person as a dive safety specialist, to be present at the workplace for the duration of the dive project and be available during all dives to advise on any matter related to the safety of the project
(2) Each dive safety specialist must
(a) conform to the competencies set out for offshore dive safety specialists in CSA Group standard Z275.4, Competency standard for diving, hyperbaric chamber, and remotely operated vehicle operations; and
(b) have no other duties that will interfere with their ability to provide prompt advice.
(3) The dive safety specialist designated by the operator must be independent of the dive contractor and the dive safety specialist designated by the dive contractor must be independent of the operator.
Marginal note:Different persons
(4) The same person may not be designated as a dive safety specialist by both the operator and dive contractor in respect of the same dive project.
Marginal note:Emergency response plan
169 (1) The emergency response plan developed under section 18 in respect of a workplace from which a dive project is carried out must include provisions developed by the dive contractor — in consultation with the dive safety specialists for the project and, as the case may be, the installation manager referred to in section 198.2 of the Act or the offshore construction manager and dive vessel master — that
(a) set out procedures for responding to all vessel or dive system emergencies that have the potential to compromise divers’ safety;
(b) set out procedures for responding to chamber system emergencies, including fire, loss of pressure, atmospheric contamination and life-support system malfunction;
(c) set out procedures to be followed in the case of any loss of communication;
(d) set out procedures for ensuring that any emergency at the workplace does not impede the provision of life support to divers, including during evacuation, recovery, decompression and observation for decompression sickness;
(e) set out procedures in relation to the rescue of a diver;
(f) if the dive project involves saturation diving, set out procedures
(i) for locating and recovering a lost diving bell,
(ii) for responding to the loss of atmospheric pressure within a diving bell, and
(iii) in relation to emergency hyperbaric evacuation, including the recovery and transport to a hyperbaric reception facility of self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboats, their reception at that facility and the replenishment of resources on the lifeboats; and
(g) address any other matters that are necessary for preparing for and responding to emergencies that have the potential to compromise divers’ safety.
(2) The dive contractor must ensure that detailed emergency response procedures covering all reasonably foreseeable emergencies are readily available to all persons at the workplace who may have a role in carrying them out.
Marginal note:Availability of plan
(3) In addition to conforming to subsection 18(3), every dive contractor must ensure that the emergency response plan for the workplace from which the dive project for which it exercises direction or control over diving operations is carried out is made readily available to all persons, including those not at the workplace, who may have a role in responding to a dive emergency.
Marginal note:Emergency drills and exercises
170 The plan established under section 30 for any workplace from which a dive project is carried out must include provisions, developed by the dive contractor, requiring the conduct of exercises and drills with respect to all reasonably foreseeable dive emergencies, including
(a) diver evacuation drills — including, if the dive project involves saturation diving, drills involving the boarding of a self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboat — to be conducted prior to the first dive being carried out under the dive project and then at least once a month;
(b) exercises involving the simulation by the members of the dive team of the procedures for dealing with a diver who has suffered injury or decompression sickness, including communication with a specialized dive physician, to be conducted at least once a month;
(c) if the dive project involves the use of dynamic positioning equipment, drills completed on the diving vessel simulating the loss of dynamic positioning capability, to be conducted at least once a month;
(d) if the dive project involves saturation diving,
(i) drills involving the location and recovery of a lost diving bell, to be conducted prior to the first dive being carried out under the dive project and then at least once every three months, and
(ii) drills involving the launch and manoeuvring of self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboats, to be conducted at least once every six months; and
(e) drills or exercises in respect of all other reasonably foreseeable diving emergencies, to be conducted at least once a month.
Marginal note:Dive project plan
171 (1) Every dive contractor must, in respect of each dive project for which it exercises direction or control over the diving operations, in consultation with the dive safety specialists for the project and, as the case may be, the installation manager referred to in section 198.2 of the Act or the offshore construction manager and dive vessel master, establish, maintain and implement a written dive project plan that sets out, in detail, all operational and safety elements of the proposed dive project, including
(a) a description of each dive to be carried out that includes an indication of
(i) the diving technique to be used,
(ii) the tasks to be carried out,
(iii) any specialized equipment to be used,
(iv) the estimated and maximum time to be spent at each depth,
(v) the number of divers involved, and
(vi) the hours each diver will be expected to work, including the frequency and duration of their breaks;
(b) the composition of the dive team and the qualifications and any specialized training required of its members;
(c) the hierarchy of command for the project;
(d) a list of legislation, standards and codes of practice that are applicable to any aspect of the dive project;
(e) a list of all vessels to be used in the dive project, including rescue vessels to be on standby;
(f) the decompression tables to be used;
(g) the types of equipment, including personal protective equipment, that are to be worn or used by members of the dive team and the quantity of each that is required to ensure sufficient availability for standby divers;
(h) procedures, approved by a specialized dive physician, for carrying out the medical checks referred to in paragraphs 172(2)(b) and (3)(b);
(i) schematic diagrams indicating, for each vessel to be used, the distance at various depths from a diver to the vessel’s propulsion system components and other hazards to the diver and their umbilical, as well as the corresponding safe umbilical lengths;
(j) a description of the diving system and any dynamic positioning equipment to be used;
(k) a description of the potential failure modes of the diving system and any dynamic positioning equipment to be used, the consequences of such failures and the mitigation measures to be taken, including an indication of which of the system’s or equipment’s components require redundancy, as determined on the basis of a failure modes and effects analysis;
(l) schedules for inspecting the diving system and its components and the positions of those responsible for carrying out those inspections;
(m) a description of all subsea lifts planned;
(n) the means of communication to be used among members of the dive team and employees on the bridge, at the dive control station and at the dynamic positioning control station, and to support the provision of medical and emergency response services, including secondary means to be used in the case of a failure of the primary means or a loss of power, and procedures to be followed in the case of a total loss of communication;
(o) a copy of the emergency response plan developed in respect of the workplace under section 18;
(p) the method by which the dive project plan is to be communicated to the dive team and any other persons who may be affected by the plan;
(q) procedures for managing any changes that require deviation from the plan; and
(r) any other information that is necessary to plan for safe diving operations.
Marginal note:Dive team
(2) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(b), the composition of the dive team must be determined having regard to the risk assessment carried out in accordance with the occupational health and safety program and that team must include
(a) no fewer than two dive supervisors on shift at the dive control station at all times during a dive, with the exception of breaks, during which one supervisor may be replaced at the dive control station by another competent person;
(b) sufficient dive support personnel to support the divers and operate and maintain all equipment; and
(c) in the case of surface-supplied diving, sufficient divers to ensure the availability of standby divers who satisfy the requirements set out in paragraph 172(2)(c).
Marginal note:Means of communication
(3) All means of communication referred to in paragraph (1)(n) must be dedicated and continuous and, if used between a dive supervisor and diver, must
(a) have sufficient sound quality to permit breathing and speech to be clearly heard without distortion;
(b) if the diver is using a breathing mixture that contains a substance that distorts the voice, be equipped with a voice descrambler; and
(c) be equipped with a recording device that continuously records all transmissions while a dive is in progress.
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