Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/86-304)

Regulations are current to 2021-03-23 and last amended on 2021-01-01. Previous Versions

PART XVIIIDiving Operations (continued)

DIVISION IType 1 Dives and Type 2 Dives (continued)

Emergency Assistance

 Every employer shall, for the purposes of paragraph 18.9(1)(g), arrange for

  • (a) assistance in the event of an emergency;

  • (b) medical support on a 24-hour-a-day basis and a suitable means of communication between the dive site and that medical support; and

  • (c) evacuation of a diver to a hyperbaric chamber if necessary.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

Pressure-related Injury

 Every employer shall ensure that, when a diver shows any indication of a pressure-related injury or requires therapeutic recompression,

  • (a) the necessary first-aid treatment is initiated; and

  • (b) the medical support referred to in paragraph 18.15(b) is notified immediately.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1


 Diving operations, repetitive dives and the treatment of divers shall be carried out in accordance with generally accepted decompression tables and procedures.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

Identification of Dive Site

 Every employer shall ensure that the following flags are conspicuously displayed at or in close proximity to the dive site whenever diving operations are conducted in areas of marine traffic:

  • (a) the International Code Flag A, hoisted from any vessel, boat or platform used in support of a dive in such a manner as to ensure all-round visibility of the dive site; and

  • (b) one or more diver’s flags from a white buoy which may be equipped with

    • (i) a light, in which case the light shall be yellow and flashing, and

    • (ii) reflecting material, in which case the reflecting material shall be yellow.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1


 Every diving operation shall be conducted under the supervision of a dive supervisor.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

 The primary duties of the dive supervisor shall include

  • (a) ensuring that every member of the dive team is familiar with the dive plan;

  • (b) ensuring that every member of the dive team understands the member’s duties, including the emergency procedures to be followed;

  • (c) ensuring, before each dive, that all necessary equipment is available and in good operating condition; and

  • (d) supervising the entire diving operation.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1


 Immediately before each dive, the dive supervisor shall review the nature of any hazards at the dive site and ensure that all divers are fully aware of the hazards likely to be encountered in the diving operation.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1
  • SOR/2019-246, s. 134(F)


 Every employer shall, for the purposes of paragraph 18.9(1)(h), ensure that all means of communication used at the dive site are

  • (a) appropriate for the operation; and

  • (b) understood by all members of the dive team.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

Breathing Supply

  •  (1) Every employer shall ensure that a reserve breathing supply sufficient to allow the safe termination of a dive is immediately available to the diver.

  • (2) Where required by the dive plan, the reserve breathing supply referred to in subsection (1) shall be carried by the diver.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

 Every employer shall ensure that air compressors and filter systems are tested annually and produce breathing mixtures that meet the requirements of clause 3.8 of CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z275.2-92, Occupational Safety Code for Diving Operations, published in English in April 1992 and in French in February 1994, as amended from time to time.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

 Where a dive plan requires that oxygen for therapeutic purposes be available, the employer shall supply

  • (a) demand-type oxygen therapy equipment; and

  • (b) an adequate quantity of oxygen.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

Diving Equipment

  •  (1) Every employer shall ensure that all diving equipment used by employees is

    • (a) designed for its intended use and maintained in a condition that ensures its continuing operation for the purpose and at the depth for which it was designed; and

    • (b) inspected, tested, maintained and calibrated by a qualified person at intervals recommended by the manufacturer and whenever the equipment is thought to be defective.

  • (2) Every employer shall ensure that diving equipment used by persons who are not employees and who are granted access to the work place is in a condition that ensures its operation for the purpose and at the depth for which it was designed.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1
  •  (1) Immediately before each dive, every diver shall check that all the equipment the diver requires is present, properly fastened in place and functioning.

  • (2) Before beginning a descent, every diver shall conduct the check specified in subsection (1) again in the water.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1
  •  (1) Every employer shall ensure that whenever diving operations are carried out from a diving station located more than 2 m above the water, the divers are transported through the air-water interface by a cage, basket or platform.

  • (2) Every employer shall ensure that a stationary platform from which a diver works, or any cage, basket or platform on or in which a diver is lowered to or raised from an underwater work place, and any associated hoisting devices and tackle,

    • (a) are used for the purpose for which they were designed; and

    • (b) do not in themselves create a hazard.

  • (3) Any cage, basket or platform and any associated equipment referred to in subsection (2) shall be dedicated to the diving operations until the dive is completed.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

 Floating equipment used in diving operations, including a vessel that is anchored or moored, shall not be moved or relocated while a diver is in the water unless the dive supervisor agrees to the move or relocation.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

 The employer shall ensure that, when a floating platform, vessel or boat is used in support of the dive, it remains on site at all times while a diver is in the water.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1
  •  (1) Every employer shall ensure that, where a dive plan requires the use of a lifeline to tether a diver, the lifeline

    • (a) is free of knots and splices, other than knots and splices necessary to attach the lifeline to the diver and the dive site;

    • (b) has a breaking strength of not less than 1400 kg;

    • (c) is secured to the diver so as to prevent loss of contact with the diver; and

    • (d) is secured at the surface to a safe point of anchorage.

  • (2) A lifeline shall always be used in dives taking place under ice.

  • (3) Every employer shall ensure that a lifeline is tended at all times by a diver’s tender.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1

 Every submersible pressure gauge and every depth gauge shall be inspected by a qualified person

  • (a) before being used for the first time;

  • (b) thereafter at intervals not exceeding 12 months; and

  • (c) whenever the gauge is thought to be defective.

  • SOR/98-456, s. 1
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