References Working Conditions under hyperbaric conditions


1. LAW



1. LAW


Working Conditions Act (AW)

The Working Conditions Act itself contains no articles that specifically deal with hyperbaric conditions or diving work. However the Act does contain general articles which focus on safety, health and welfare.

Important articles in the context of diving work are amongst others:

* Inventory and evaluation of risks: article 5

* Information and training: article 8

* Reporting accidents and occupational diseases: article 9

* General obligations of the employees: article 11

* Multiple employers: article 19

* Certification: article 20


(An English Translation of the Working Conditions Act can be found on the OSHA European website

Working Conditions Decree (AB)

The Working Conditions Decree does contain specific requirements in relation to hyperbaric conditions and diving work. In Chapter 6 (physical factors), section 5 (working under hyperbaric conditions) those requirements can be found. Important requirements in relation to diving work are:


(An English Translation of the Working Conditions Decree can be found on the OSHA European website

* Physical load: Chapter 5 Section 1

* Definitions and Applicability: article 6.13

* Suitablity: article 6.14

* Occupational Health medical examination: article 6.14a

* Safety Measures: article 6.15

* Certification of maintenance system for diving and caisson equipment: article 6.15a (Will be withdrawn in view of WOD-SOE)

* Diving work: article 6.16

* Reporting diving work: article 6.17

* Compression chamber diving work: article 6.18

* Diving work of pupils and students: article 6.31

The full text of the Working Conditions Decree can also be found at:

Working Conditions Decree and Self-employed persons (ZZP-ers)

Article 9.5 of the Working Conditions Decree describes the obligations of self- employed persons and co-operating employers. In this Article 9.5 is indicated that nearly all requirements of the Working Conditions Decree in relation to diving work are applicable. The relevant articles are: 6.14a, 6.15a, 6.16, 6.17 and 6.18.
See also the publication of the Labour Inspectorate "ZZP-er en de Arbowet"

Working Conditions Regulations (AR)

Also in the Working Conditions Regulations articles can be found which relate to diving work. The regulations provide further details regarding the articles in the Working Conditions Decree. The following articles relate to Diving doctors, divers, diving supervisors and diving medical attendant/ diver medic.

See Chapter 6 Work under hyperbaric conditions

* Certification: Section 6.1

* Certification: diver, diving supervisor, diving medical attendant and Divng octors:  Section 6.5

* Certification: Fire brigade diver Fire Brigade diving supervisor


(An English Translation of the Working Conditions Regulations can be found on the OSHA European website


The Working Hours Act provides rules regarding maximum working hours and minimum rest periods. The Working Hours Act does however make exceptions for Defence, Fire Brigade, Supervisory and (special) Investigative services. For divers working in the mining industry in addition to the normal rules of the Working Hours Act and – Decree further rules are applicable. 

See the publication of the Ministery of Social Affairs and Employment regarding Working Hours Act
See the publication of the Ministery of Social Affairs and Employment regarding Working Conditions Act available in English

See also the information of our government on the website of Labour Inspectorate

Working hours in the mining sector

The Working Hours Act (hereafter called ATW) is the basic legislation for working hours. Working hours and rest periods, as laid down in the ATW, do not always allow sufficient scope for all sectors to conduct their business effectively. Mining is one of those sectors for which additional and different regulations are required. Therefore the Working Hours Decree (hereafter called ATB) contains additional and different rules for employees who perform work on or from a mining installation (an at sea or surface water placed drilling or production platform) or an onshore mining location.

Also for divers who carry out work for the mining sector additional and different rules are contained in the ATB.

When applying the rules of the ATB, it must be remembered that the regulations of the ATW which are not explicitly deviated from in the ATB remain applicable. Furthermore, for some work a choice may be made between the working hours scheme of the ATW and that of the ATB.

Collective scheme NADO, NVB, CNV and FNV Bondgenoten

Since April 2007 the ATW legislation has been changed on a number of points in order to respond to the wish to create more flexibility. The ATW no longer has a standard and consultation scheme. There is now a (principal) norm which may be deviated from in a collective scheme.  At companies where nothing has been agreed the principal norm will apply. It is only possible to deviate from the principal norm by means of collective agreements between the employer and employees. In that case, the more flexible norm of the collective scheme will apply.

In April 2008 the branch organisation NADO (Netherlands Association of Diving Companies), the NVB (Netherlands Association of Professional divers), CNV and FNV signed a collective agreement so the more flexible norm of the collective scheme is applicable to them.

Download the publication of Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen
Download the publication in the English language of Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen


In-house Emergency Service organisation (BHV)





DMAC Diving Medical Advisory Committee
DMAC 06 The effects of sonar transmission on commercial diving activities
DMAC 12 Safe diving distance from seismic surveying operations
DMAC 15 Medical equipment to be held at the site of an offshore diving operation
DMAC 20 Duration of bell lock-outs
DMAC 21 Guidance on the duration of saturation exposures and surface intervals between saturations
DMAC 28 The provision of emergency medical care for divers in saturation

HSE The Health and Safety Executive
MaTR 133" Investigations into the damage caused by an explosion during oxy-arc cutting operations in the North Sea"

IMCA – IMCA Marine Contractors Association

IMCA Diving Division

IMCA D 003 Guidelines for oxy-arc cutting
IMCA D 010 Diving operations from vessels operating in dynamically positioned mode
IMCA D 014 IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving
IMCA D 016 Underwater air lift bags
IMCA D 021 Diving in contaminated waters
IMCA D 028 Guidance on the use of Chain lever hoists in the offshore environment
IMCA D 045 Code of practice for the safe use of electricity underwater
IMCA D 051 Hyperbaric evacuation systems (HES) interface recommendations
IMCA D 052 Guidance on hyperbaric evacuations systems
AODC 032 Remotely operated vehicle intervention during diving operations
AODC 038 Guidance note on the use of inert gases

IMCA Remote Systems and ROV

IMCA R 004 Code of Practice for the Safe & Efficient Operation of Remotely Operated Vehicles

IMCA Marine

IMO 113 (IMO MSC Circular 645 ) Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems

IMCA Competence & Training

IMCA C 002 Competence assurance and assessment - Guidance document and competence tables: Marine Division
IMCA C 003 Competence assurance and assessment - Guidance document and competence tables: Diving Division

OGP - International Association of Oil and Gas Producers

OGP Report 471 Oxy-Arc Underwater Cutting Recommended Practice

IMO International Maritime Organization


IMO MSC / circ 645 Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems

(See IMCA Marine Division IMO 113)

IMO resolution A.692(17)

Guidelines and specifications for hyperbaric evacuation systems

IMO resolution A.831(19) Code of Safety for Diving Systems

NEN Standards (Normen)

NEN Standards (Normen) are available from the Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut (NNI). For more information.

NEN Normshop

NEN-EN 12021:1999 en “Ademhalingsbeschermingsmiddelen - Perslucht voor ademhalingstoestellen”

Industrial Cleaning Foundation (SIR) Manual “High Pressure water jetting”

VCA - Safety, Health and Environment Checklist Contractors