Rules on diving and caisson work

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

There are serious risksExternal link (in Dutch) involved in diving. Divers work under excess pressure, in hazardous locations (cold water and ship traffic). They also do heavy work and come into contact witch chemical substances or polluted water.

Reporting diving and caisson work

If your company wants to carry out diving or caisson work, you must reportExternal link (in Dutch) this to SZW Inspectorate (Inspectie SZW) if the work:

  • takes place at a depth of more than 9 meters
  • takes place with a current flowing faster than 0.5 meters per second
  • is expected to involve decompression
  • will be carried out using breathing gas other than air
  • lasts over a week
  • is for underground extractive industry or mineral extraction involving drilling

You must report at least 5 working days before the work starts. You also include a copy of the work plan with your report. You can use the same online formExternal link (in Dutch) for reporting both caisson work and diving activities. You need authorisation to use the form. If you do not yet have authorisation you can apply for it onlineExternal link (in Dutch).

If you perform diving activities for mining, wind farms or mineral extraction, you must report this to the State Supervision of MinesExternal link (Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen, SodM).

Certification and safety measures

If you work under excess pressure you need a personal certificateExternal link (in Dutch)from a recognised training institutionExternal link (in Dutch). Most certificates are valid for 4 years, except for the Medical Supervision of Diving certificate which is valid for 2 years.

When doing caisson work, you must keep a valid 'Diving and Caisson Equipment Maintenance System' certificate at the work location. A certified diving doctor must examine your employees annually in a work-related medical examination.

A spare diver and a team leader must be present at all times when diving work is carried out. The divers, spare diver and team leader must all hold the relevant work certificates. In addition, someone must be present who holds a 'Medical Supervision of Diving' certificate. All certificates must be kept at the work location. Every diver must keep a diver’s log. Specific rules for the working hours of divers are described in the Working Hours ActExternal link (pdf, page 19).

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO