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IMCA Publishes New Guidance on Divers' Health, Fitness and Medical Issues

Published on 31 October 2018

  • Diver health (medical fitness) and physical fitness issues need to be managed more effectively

The International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) newly published ‘Guidance on Health, Fitness and Medical Issues in Diving Operations‘ (IMCA D 061) has been prepared in response to concerns about how best to address certain problematic diver health, fitness and medical issues identified by IMCA’s Diving Division members.

“IMCA members have become concerned that the number of workplace incidents connected to diver health (medical fitness) and physical fitness appears to be growing.Key factors are identified in D 061 that underlie many of these incidents. This rising trend suggests that there is a need for diving contractors, and divers themselves, to manage the whole question of fitness-to-dive more effectively,” said IMCA’s Diving Manager, Bryan McGlinchy.

D 061, which includes pre and post diving medical check forms, has specific aims:

  • Emphasise to divers that they have an obligation not to endanger themselves, or other members of the dive team, by:
    • failing to declare significant health (medical fitness) issues to those in control of diving operations; or by
    • allowing their levels of physical fitness to decline significantly;
  • Encourage a culture of good health and high levels of physical fitness amongst divers;
  • Provide diving contractors with information about options that can help them deal with commonly encountered diver health, fitness and medical issues; and
  • Assist diving contractors seeking to develop arrangements for managing diver health, physical fitness and medical issues effectively.

Health, Fitness & Medical Issues in Diving Operations will also feature prominently in the Diving Session at IMCA’s Annual Seminar on 28 and 29 November in The Hague, The Netherlands.

D 061 is available on IMCA’s website at

Notes to editors:

D 061 is targeted at all diving operations (surface supplied and closed bell) and at divers; diving contractors; diving and life support supervisors; installation/vessel medics; diver medical technicians (DMTs); medical examiners of divers; commercial diving medical specialists; clients/operators; regulatory authorities; and anyone else with an interest in ensuring the health and physical fitness of commercial divers.