Diving Safety Program

About Diving Safety Program

The University of Washington's Diving Safety Program assists faculty, staff, and students in safely using SCUBA as a tool to conduct underwater research. There are approximately 100 divers, conducting over 2,000 dives per year. The majority of dives are conducted at the University's Friday Harbor Laboratories although diving projects take place worldwide.

Diving Safety Manual

The University of Washington Diving Safety Manual(pdf) meets and exceeds the scientific diving standards set forth by the American Academy of Underwater Sciences(AAUS) .

Diving Control Board

The Diving Control Board is an institutional committee assigned to oversee diving safety for the University. The Diving Control Board, with the majority of its members being active scientific divers, have the authority to approve and monitor diving projects, review and revise the diving safety manual, assure compliance with the manual, certify the depths to which a diver has been trained, take disciplinary action for unsafe practices, and assure adherence to the buddy system (a diver is accompanied by and is in continuous contact with another diver in the water) for scuba diving. The Diving Control Board's functions are carried out pursuant to the AAUS Scientific Diving Standards.

Diver Certification

Anyone diving under the University of Washington's auspices must be certified as a University of Washington Scientific Diver and adhere to the standards set forth in the UW Diving Safety Manual. The requirements and steps to become a UW Scientific Diver are summarized in the Requirements for Scientific Diver Certification document. This document includes links to the diver registration form, medical evaluation form, and other required forms needed for diver certification.

Medical Qualification

Medical qualification is an essential component of obtaining and maintaining Scientific Diver Certification. Dive physicals must be coordinated through the Employee Health Center (EHC). Medical providers will explain the options and requirements for medical exams and qualification. Please contact the EHC at 206-685-1026 or emphlth@uw.edu. The University's Diving Medical Officer is Dr. Edmond Kay. Please visit his Diving Medicine Webpage http://faculty.washington.edu/ekayto learn more about diving medicine and for his contact information for any personal medical questions.

Diving Database

Divers are required to record and maintain their dive logs and personal data on the AAUS Dive Log Database available at http://washington.diveaaus.com/User/User_Login.asp . Please contact the Diving Safety Officer at divesafe@uw.edu for more information.

Supplemental Dive Accident Insurance

All student divers not employed by the University and UW employees who dive outside of work for personal reasons are strongly recommended to have Divers Alert Network (DAN) dive accident insurance or other medical insurance covering hyperbaric treatment and emergency medical evacuation assistance.

Reporting Diving Safety Concerns

The University of Washington is committed to safe research diving. If you observe potentially unsafe practices, conditions or have questions, please feel free to report confidentially to divesafe@uw.edu .