Fitness To Dive

Commercial diving is carried out in all oil and offshore locations , commercial diving is a very demanding career. It requires a high degree of physical and psychological fitness that means you will need to be very fit initially and will need to keep yourself in top condition

and to gain a diving certificate you need to pass a thorough medical examination by an Approved Medical Examiner of Divers,

The most important medical is the one before starting diving.

The other important medicals are after some significant illness, where medical intervention is needed there and has to be done by a doctor who is competent in diving medicine, and can not be done by prescriptive rules.( Williams, 2001)

Disqualifying conditions:

The following medical conditions are likely to prevent you from diving :( HSE 1997)

• Disease of the heart and circulation, including high blood pressure, angina,

• Collapsed lung/pneumothorax • Asthma • Ear, nose, throat or sinus problems

• Persistent stomach or intestinal problems

• Mental illness

• Epilepsy

• Claustrophobia or severe motion sickness

• Severe migraines

• Disease of the brain or nervous system

• Blackouts or recurring fainting

• Injury or surgery to the head or spine

• Blood disorders

• Diabetes

• Pregnancy

Temporarily disqualifying conditions

Any illness requiring drug treatment may constitute a temporary disqualification if either the illness or the drug may compromise diving safety. Sedatives, tranquillisers, antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-diabetic drugs, steroids, anti-hypertensives, anti-epilepsy drugs, alcohol and hallucinatory drugs such as marijuana and LSD may increase risk to the diver.( Edmonds 2010)

Physical examination: Before beginning training and or assessment you must pass an initial medical examination carried out by an AMED doctor to ensure you are medically fit to dive.

Frequency: • Pre employment • 3 yearly up to 40 years age • 2 yearly after 40 years age • after major injury or illness, or any condition requiring hospitalization for > 24 hours, that requires clearance to return to diving from a physician, and if it is pressure related, this clearance must come from a registered diving physician.

Requirements for medical examination:

• medical history • chest X- ray • ECG • Spirometry • Audiogram • Visual acuity • CBC • Biochemistry • Urinalysis.


• Edmonds, Thomas, McKenzie and Pennefather (2010). Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers (3rd ed.). Carl Edmonds.

• HSE, Medical requirements for diving at work –1997, retrieved from

• Williams, G.; et al. (2001). "Fitness to dive: Panel discussion with audience participation". Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society. 31.

Parent Category: Fitness for Work