There are also special requirements for doctors and medical examinations as stipulated in the Norwegian guidelines for medical examination of occupational divers by the Norwegian Board of Health (Statens Helsetilsyn, Htil).
When starting on a diving instruction/training course, all candidates must undergo a medical examination to verify that their state of health is satisfactory. Subsequently, annual medical examinations have to be performed in accordance with the guidelines. The Working Environment Act further requires the employer to offer regular health screenings in order to reveal potential long-term effects caused by factors in the working environment.
This implies that the health condition of divers is monitored in accordance with the health risks posed by occupational diving. However, in practice this has proven difficult to implement due to a lack of continuity in the types of diving assignments a diver may receive and because divers may have several employers. As a result, a system has been put in place to ensure long-term health screening of divers in the form of special examinations every three years. Participation in these medical examinations is voluntary.
The authorities and the industry have taken the initiative to develop a common system for the North Sea in order to monitor the long-term health condition of divers. Representatives from the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Norway are involved in this project.
- See Report to the Storting No. 12 (2005-2006) Ch. on diving in the petroleum industry for further information.