A Comprehensive Guide on Choosing Your Commercial Diving Equipment
Selecting the right equipment is a critical aspect of commercial diving. The equipment’s performance, durability, and safety features can significantly affect the diver’s productivity and, most importantly, safety. This guide will delve into choosing your commercial diving equipment, offering insights and tips to help you make the best decisions.
Understanding the Importance of Quality Commercial Diving Equipment
Commercial diving activities often occur in challenging environments, and the divers’ safety and efficiency are paramount. High-quality equipment is designed to withstand these conditions and provide divers with the features and tools they need to perform their tasks safely and effectively. Remember, investing in top-quality gear can save costs in the long term by avoiding frequent replacements and reducing the likelihood of equipment failure.
Assessing Your Specific Requirements
The first step in choosing commercial diving equipment is understanding your specific requirements. Different diving tasks will require additional equipment. For instance, a salvage operation might require heavy-duty lifting bags, while underwater construction might require hydraulic tools. Continually assess the needs of each dive and ensure you have the appropriate equipment.
Choosing Your Protective Gear
Selecting the right diving suit is essential for protection and comfort. Commercial divers often use dry suits due to their superior insulation, keeping the diver dry even in cold water. When choosing a drysuit, look for robust material like trilaminate or vulcanised rubber and consider a suit with reinforced knees and elbows for added durability.
Commercial diving helmets provide crucial safety and functional benefits, including integrated communication systems and a direct air supply. When choosing a diving helmet, consider the field of view, weight, comfort, and communication system quality. Reputable brands like Kirby Morgan and DESCO offer reliable and feature-rich commercial diving helmets.
Breathing Apparatus: Surface-Supplied vs. Closed-Circuit
The choice of breathing apparatus will largely depend on the nature and duration of the dive. Surface-supplied systems are commonly used in commercial diving, offering a continuous supply of air and a lifeline to the surface. When choosing a surface-supplied system, consider its supply capacity, reliability, and backup features. Although less common, closed-circuit rebreathers are used for deep or long dives. If opting for a rebreather, ensure it has an efficient scrubber system, reliable sensors, and a user-friendly interface.
Safety and Auxiliary Equipment
Safety equipment is non-negotiable in commercial diving. Diving knives, line cutters, safety harnesses, and emergency gas supply systems are necessary. Auxiliary equipment such as underwater torches, lifting bags, and underwater tools should be selected based on specific task requirements. Ensure all your gear meets safety standards and check their durability and ease of use.
Equipment Maintenance and Training
While not physical equipment, appropriate training on using and maintaining commercial diving gear is critical. Diving equipment manufacturers and training institutions often provide equipment use and maintenance courses. Regular equipment checks and servicing are crucial to maintain their performance and safety features.
Certification and Legal Standards
Ensure all your diving equipment meets the necessary legal standards and certifications. In the UK, commercial diving equipment must comply with the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 and associated Approved Codes of Practice. Always check that your chosen equipment is up to code and that the supplier provides compliance certification.
Choosing a Reliable Supplier
Finally, choose a reliable supplier. Look for suppliers with a strong reputation in the industry, comprehensive customer support, and a wide range of products. A good supplier should also offer servicing and repair services to keep your equipment in shape.
Choosing the right commercial diving equipment can seem daunting, given the variety of equipment available and the critical role each piece plays in ensuring the safety and efficiency of the diver. However, you can navigate the selection process successfully by understanding your specific requirements, prioritizing quality and safety, and providing the chosen equipment is up to legal standards. Remember, your diving equipment is an investment in your safety and productivity, so choose wisely.