Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The dive locker. USA, LLC

Sailors Check their Dive Gear, originally uploaded by US Navy.

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The Naval Safety Center (NSC) Diving Division has observed a real need for additional training for members of submarine diving lockers. Due to the high OPTEMPO and high turnover rate of the divers in these positions, critical knowledge and skills are diminishing at alarming levels. Basic maintenance and equipment set up is becoming a significant problem as seen during Diving Operational Readiness Assessment (DORA) and the NSC surveys. In recent weeks, NSC divers have conducted more than 10 submarine dive locker surveys and found many repeat or unresolved discrepancies from previous assessments/surveys. As you can see, this is cause for some concern. Can we fix this? The answer is, "Yes!"

As divers, we all know diving is a perishable skill and without frequent refresher training the level of safety will be diminished. This not only applies to getting wet but also that you must ensure the proper maintenance of your diving equipment is accomplished by a knowledgeable person who fully understands the maintenance procedures. Unfortunately, this is a collateral duty on top of the many other tasks you have as a submarine diver. That being said, diving is a voluntary program and you get paid to do it, so along with that comes an added responsibility and duty to run the program properly, whether it takes time out of your normal day or not.

Preparing your dive locker for safe operations is a never-ending job; there is no doubt about that. It requires all members of the team to be versed on diving procedures, maintenance, administration, applicable diving instructions and policies. It is your responsibility to follow those procedures and policies to the letter. They were developed for your safety and the safety of your team while you conduct the most dangerous type of diving (SCUBA).

Ways to improve your dive locker's performance during assessments and surveys:

1) Educate yourself by using the Naval Safety Center checklist to review your diving program's administration, training, and material condition. This checklist is used by both DORA and NSC safety teams when they visit. This is an open book test for your visit!

2) Organize your binders in the order of the checklist to allow the survey to flow smoothly. Out of sequence or misplaced items give the appearance of a poorly maintained locker.

3) Conduct and Document your training! I see a lot of blank training binders and insufficient training programs for what is required of Navy Divers. Be on the lookout for an upgrade or revision to the CTSS covering Divers. The 43910-B, Diving Salvage Warfare Specialist PQS, is the only approved PQS program for Navy Divers. It is also found on NKO as "Military Diver."

4) Utilize available resources. The Naval Safety Center website has the current diving instructions, AIG messages and Diving Safety Lines. Additionally, the NAVSEA OOC website is an unlimited resource. There is never a good excuse for not having up-to-date instructions.

5) Make the time to dive. There is no better training than actually setting up and conducting a dive. Exercise emergency procedures and practice extracting an injured diver. An actual casualty is not the time to find out that a piece of your emergency equipment is broken.

6) Review your dive supervisor checklists and pre-mishap plan. When was the last time you verified your emergency contact numbers?

7) Review 3M and conduct maintenance on gear before the survey. We ask to see over-bottom pressure settings on regulators and we check reserve valve actuation pressures on SCUBA bottles if they are outfitted with J-valves.

8) Look over tending lines, lost diver buoys and other ancillary equipment. Are tending lines marked? Is the stand-by diver's tending line marked and is it twice the length of the primary?

9) Have diving medical records available and verified to have DMO/UMO signature for diving physicals, current PHA and annual skin cancer screening documented. New requirements from BUMED are outlined in the 2009 fall addition of the Diving Safety Lines.

10) This is the biggest one of all. Pride in ownership! There is nothing better than walking into a dive locker where the divers are proud to show off their equipment and display their knowledge.

The Naval Safety Center is here to support you, but we can only help if help is requested. Our divers have more than 100 years of diving experience and will gladly assist you. Until then..... plan the dive and dive the plan! Contact information: / (757) 444-3520 ext 7837. The following website can be used to verify authorized submarine dive gear anuList.asp?destPage=00c3&pageId=3.2 and click on "Enter ANU."

CWO3 Jeff Annon

Source Citation
Annon, Jeff. "The dive locker." FLASH (2010): 2+. General OneFile. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.
Document URL

Gale Document Number:A232889094

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