Competence of underwater construction worker

Permits and notifications - Underwater construction worker - Yleistä

The Finnish Government Decree on the competence of underwater construction workers and on safety planning limits the right to carry out underwater construction works to qualified divers.

Underwater construction workers must have a commercial diving qualification or a relevant professional SCUBA diving qualification. Competence requirements depend on the depth at which the work is to be performed, the nature of the work, the diving equipment to be used and the technique.

The new regulations replace Decision No 674/1996 of the Ministry of Labour on the competence of underwater construction workers. However, any qualifications acquired under the old rules are still valid.

Underwater construction work is also regulated by the Finnish Government Decree on the Safety of Construction Work.

The classification of underwater construction works is mostly based on the depth at which the work is performed. SCUBA divers are only qualified to work at depths not exceeding 30 metres, while commercial divers work at greater depths.

Each diver’s competence must be checked from their qualification certificate before they are hired and, in any case, before underwater work commences.

Proof of competence

Professional SCUBA divers can demonstrate their competence by presenting proof of their professional SCUBA diving qualification and commercial divers by presenting their commercial diver’s certificate.

Decisions on whether diving courses taken abroad qualify individuals to perform underwater construction work in Finland are taken by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. See here for contact information. The national Diving Qualification Committee can be consulted before a decision is taken.

Qualification certificates and other similar documents issued by foreign diving schools can also be accepted as proof of competence.