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RR761 - Differential pressure hazards in diving

There has been continuing occurrence of diving injuries and fatalities caused by differential pressure. A wide ranging review into differential pressure incidents, across the diving industry is presented. The review found a total of 66 differential pressure incidents of sufficient quality for inclusion in the report. These incidents were categorised and examined for common factors and appropriate lessons to be learnt. A range of existing guidance and advice for identifying and controlling differential pressure hazards was reviewed and a summary of ‘best practice’ produced. It is recommended that a Diving Information Sheet based upon the lessons learnt and identified best practice is issued to the diving industry in an attempt to raise awareness of this potentially fatal hazard.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19