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North Sea Divers (Fatalities)

Volume 22: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will study the work of Dr. Philip James, senior lecturer in occupational medicine, Dundee university, on fatalities amongst North Sea divers and the helium-oxygen ratio in their life support systems; and if he will make a statement.

The work of Dr. Philip James has been studied by the Department's chief diving inspector. He has also discussed the conclusions and recommendations of Dr. Philip James' work with the diving medical advisory committee of the Association of Offshore Diving Contractors and with representatives of the UKOOA. diving safety committee.Existing legislation requires the diving contractor to provide a breathing mixture suitable in content and temperature and of adequate pressure and at an adequate rate. It is not intended to recommend a change in the legislation; nor has Dr. James ever asked for such action. However, further discussions are planned between the chief inspector and Dr. James to consider the desirability of issuing further guidance on oxygen-helium ratio in life support systems.