Anthony Dulio at American Underwater Services are experts in hazmat diving. He has taken the time to put together this article on Employee Profile: Hazmat Divers. If you have any questions about hazmat diving contact Anthony about Employee Profile: Hazmat Divers article.
At American Underwater Services, we perform many types of jobs such as sediment removal, culvert cleaning and inspection, and even hazmat diving.
Our divers, engineers, and job foreman adhere to a rigorous and stringent safety culture that ensures the safe and successful completion of any job we undertake.
In this article, we’d like to introduce you to the job of a hazmat diver, what risks they face, and how they’re able safely to do what they do no matter how big or small the job.
What is a Hazmat Diver?
A hazmat diver is someone who performs an underwater job in extremely hazardous or dangerous conditions. For example, a diver might be called out to work in water that is toxic or polluted. Or they might be required to work in heavy seas or dive to extreme depths that could cause a dangerous medical condition called “the bends.”
It’s one of the most physically demanding jobs imaginable and takes tremendous courage and skill to perform successfully. This is why only a handful of SCUBA-certified divers willfully undergo the rigorous training that’s required before they receive their hazmat certification.
The hazmat diver doesn’t work alone. He or she has a crew of tenders whose only job it is to ensure the safety of the diver while underwater. They do this utilizing a strict safety protocol, as well as two-way radios that enable the diver to remain in constant communication with the surface crew.
Safety comes first for hazmat divers, and they and their crew undergo constant training and retraining to ensure that they’re able to handle any emergency situation that may arise. When it comes to underwater safety, no chances are taken.
Dangers of Hazmat Diving
Hazmat divers regularly and willfully face a long list of dangers:
Polluted waters – They might be called in to perform work in highly polluted or contaminated waters. In situations like this, the divers must be decontaminated once they leave the water.
The Bends – The deeper a diver goes, the higher the water pressure becomes. If the diver surfaces too quickly, they can get a life-threatening condition called the bends or decompression sickness.
It forms when gas bubbles occur if the diver ascends too quickly. This can cause extreme sickness or even death. Divers must take precautions to avoid getting the bends.
Cuts – While the chances of a man-eating shark attacking the diver are slim-to-none, hazmat divers regularly face dangerous situations when working around the underwater metal.
If the diver is using a torch to cut or weld, they have to be careful and avoid any sharp metal edges as they can tear through even the toughest of safety suits.
Diseases – When working in sewage plants, or other contaminated bodies of water, our divers face a laundry list of potentially fatal diseases. This is why they’re required to be vaccinated to prevent themselves from becoming sick.
Jobs that Hazmat Divers Perform
One thing is for sure when it comes to hazmat diving: the job never gets boring or routine. Our hazmat divers have worked on countless jobs in almost any dangerous scenario imaginable:
Salvage – We routinely help boat owners and insurance companies salvage sunken vessels. In 2017, we performed a job at Lake Whitney after a tornado hit the area and sunk a boat. Our divers were tasked with salvaging the vessel.
Cargo and Equipment – When boats sink, sometimes the cargo onboard is worth more than the ship itself. In situations like this, we work with our client’s priorities to ensure we get the job done right the first time around.
Concrete Removal – Sometimes many tons of heavy concrete need to be removed from a waterway, lake, or river. Our hazmat divers will spring into action, safely and successfully demolishing and cleaning up the concrete debris.
Contaminated Diving – Our hazmat divers are no strangers to nuclear power plants, waste treatment facilities, settling tanks, treatment ponds, and wastewater tanks. They are prepared and fully equipped to handle any kind of hazardous underwater job no matter how big or small.
Expert Hazmat Divers at American Underwater Services
If you need a hazmat diver, look no further than American Underwater Services. Our divers and engineers have decades of experience working in some of the most hazardous conditions imaginable.
We adhere to a rigorous safety culture that dictates how we go about successfully completing each job. Give us a call today at (866) 594-1272 to learn more about how our expert hazmat diving solutions can successfully and safely get the job done right the first time around.