Is Commercial Diving Safe?
Before committing your time and money to a commercial diving school, it is important that you understand what you are getting yourself into. Too often, the appeal of working around the world, potential for great pay, and the thrill of doing something different get in the way of making a well thought out decision.
Commercial Diving Dangers and Risks
Frankly, commercial diving is not for everyone. It is a tough and demanding career that has a history of burning out recent commercial diving school graduates who did not take the time to get a clear picture of the commercial diving industry and what the career path entails. Moreover, commercial diving is not without risks, making it unpleasant for non-risk taking personality types. What follows are some questions relating to commercial diving risks that should be considered be entering diving academy.
Are you able to think quickly and calmly under pressure? Divers often work alone in remote locations at depths or inside structures such as pipelines that carry the potential for life threatening situations. Now to be clear, these kinds of emergencies are not an everyday occurrence, but should an emergency occur, it can be devastating if not handled properly. If you are prone to stress induced panic or if you freeze up and cannot think well under pressure, then you may want to consider a different profession.
Due to the technical nature of commercial diving, structural, environmental as well as standard construction hazards about. Are you safety conscious or accident prone? In addition to safely performing underwater construction tasks, a commercial diver must also be able to work while preventing his or her dive umbilical from getting tangled up, to stay clear of moving objects in a fluid environment, to maintain a position without the normal use of legs while avoiding injury to hands, and other hazards often complicated by water currents and low visibility.
Can you entrust your safety to others or are you an independent person who hates to rely on others? In addition to underwater dangers, a commercial diver must rely heavily upon others for his safety. A diver is supported by a top-side crew who tend the umbilical, monitor gas mixtures, calculate decompression stops, maintain the air compressors that provide air to the diver, and many other functions. As a commercial diver, you must be willing to work as a member of a team and entrust your life to others.
For those who can realistically handle the pressures associated with these risks, commercial diving can offer an exciting career with many unique opportunities that few will experience. If, however, you are in doubt about your ability to handle these conditions, set ego aside and figure out who you really are and whether or not this is the right choice. It is better to figure this out early rather than graduate from dive school with debt only to find out that commercial diving is not for you.