"Risk Management For Diving Operations"

A Must Have if You are Serious About Diving

Just published! Do you want to learn the tricks of the trade I learned in about 25 years of diving experience (often in harsh environments)? Would you like to learn how to plan your dives safely, proficiently, and effectively? Do you want to understand how to avoid, reduce, and manage most risks of diving? Then this is the book for you.
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, then, by any means, this is the book for you!

“Risk Management for Diving Operations” aims to provide the reader with a good deal of information about sources of errors, human factors and their impact on safety, the importance of good situational awareness, what characteristics make a good dive leader, how we should learn essential diving skills, what kind of stress, both physical and psychological, affects our performance, and what specific hazards derive from the different diving environments and the effect of diving on human physiology. Some diving incidents are analyzed using a standard procedure so the reader can learn and apply it to their analysis. Finally, information and examples of risk assessment and management procedures are presented. The reader can use these examples to develop policies focused on specific needs.

In writing this book, I have followed a strictly scientific approach. References support the information; the reader can refer to them at the end of each chapter for further details.

The biomedical aspects of diving have been reviewed by Brian Strickland, M.D., who completed his fellowship in wilderness medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and is currently a practicing emergency medicine physician. He has also authored a chapter focused on medical fitness for diving, which seeks to understand the impact of underlying medical conditions on dive safety.

The text is divided into 14 “standalone” chapters; each has a summary of its main contents at the beginning and a “lessons learned” section at the end. You can read the book cover-to-cover or only focus on the chapters related to your diving operations – the decision is yours.

The book is used as mandatory reading for the Scientific Diving Training of the University of Helsinki (Finland), and it is one of the textbooks for the Advanced Diving Program of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA).

If you are diving as part of your profession or simply because you love it, this reading will make you a safer and more confident diver.

Chapter 1: An introductory chapter to risk management. Hazard and risk are explained, and risk assessment outlines are provided.

Chapter 2: In this chapter, the reader can find an overview of human and organizational factors related to diving operations.

Chapter 3: This chapter focuses on leadership characteristics and related issues. The leader is a key figure in any team, primarily when operating “in the field” of operations.

Chapter 4: In this chapter, the importance of good situational awareness for divers is explained with specific examples.

Chapter 5: Some critical skills need to become almost “instinctive.” This chapter will describe the essentials of the learning process and how we can “overlearn” the basics and emergency diving skills.

Chapter 6: A degree of stress is unavoidable when diving, and in this chapter, the reader will learn how to manage the stress to improve proficiency and safety.

Chapter 7: This is the longest chapter and describes several environmental and physiological hazards and how to reduce the associated risks. As environmental stressors, cold, low visibility, polluted waters, differential pressure, and depth will be described in detail. The risks of hypoxia, hypoxemia, and CO2 will also be addressed. Finally, fatigue will be considered one of divers’ most common, and underestimated, stressors.

Chapter 8: This chapter deals with checklists, an essential tool for enhancing safety, mainly when operating under stressful conditions.

Chapter 9: Fault tree analysis (FTA) is a logical procedure that aims to identify the root causes of accidents. In this chapter, FTA will be applied to diving situations.

Chapter 10: This chapter overviews diving incidents and accidents, analyzing their leading causes and how such incidents can be avoided.

Chapter 11: This chapter analyzes actual incidents following a structured procedure. The aim is to provide the reader with knowledge and methods to analyze potential mishaps.

Chapter 12: The structure of a diving risk assessment is presented in this chapter.

Chapter 13: Information about medical fitness for diving and its importance for risk management is provided here.

Chapter 14: In this final chapter, the reader will understand how to develop a sound and safe dive plan.