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Diver sustains water jetting injury

A member has reported an incident in which a diver injured himself using a water jetting tool. The incident occurred during the removal of marine growth from the leg of an offshore platform. When the diver was shifting the water jet from one side to another, the trigger was accidently pressed as the nozzle passed over the diver’s knee. No injury was felt or noticed by the diver at that time and the diver continued working. On returning to the surface on completion of the dive, the diver felt pain whilst undressing and an acute injury was noticed about 7.5cm long and about 2mm deep approximately 5cm above the left knee.

First aid was administered to the diver on board the vessel, before he was medevac’d to base by chopper for immediate medical attention. The diver was later shifted to an onshore hospital for further treatment where it was declared only as a superficial injury and only a change of dressing was advised till recovery.

Injury to diver
Injury to diver

Our member’s investigation noted the following:

  • During the water jetting dive the diver had on a wetsuit and a diving denim coverall for his protection;
  • The safety lock was not activated on the water jet, allowing it to trigger whilst shifting position or location in water.

Our member took the following actions:

  • The supervisor to give additional briefing before use of high pressure water jetting equipment;
  • Divers should ask for the water jet to be ‘made cold’ or pressure turned off, before moving locations.

Members may wish to refer to the following similar incidents (key words: water jet):

Members may wish to refer to Code of practice for the use of high pressure jetting equipment by divers.

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