Criteria for Determining Safe Water Conditions for Underwater Operations

Report No: 84-R30

Published in 1984

About the report:

Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation employees trained in the use of SCUBA inspect certain of the Department's bridges and provide a degree of quality control for inspections done under contract. Safety standards to be followed in diving operations by these employees have been established in accordance with OSHA guidelines and are stated in the "Procedures Manual for Compressed Air Diving (SCUBA MODE) ." The objective of the research reported here was to supplement these standards by developing criteria by which a given body of water can be evaluated to ensure that reasonable planning is sufficient to minimize hazards. Water characteristics such as depth and current, evaluations of the surrounding water, information concerning access to the water, and the significance of various types of pollution were considered in the study.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Daniel D. McGeehan, Lynn Samuel

Last updated: January 17, 2024

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