Alcohol and Diving.

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Title: Alcohol and Diving.
Author: Sheldrake, SJ; Pollock, NW
Abstract: Alcohol is a known hazard for its impairment of physical and cognitive performance. While its use is generally accepted as incompatible with diving activity, written policies vary substantially among institutions. In this study we examined the available policies for eleven organizations in the US and abroad. Manuals available online were used, while for large organizations (e.g. NOAA) they were solicited directly. Where no written standards exist, it is possible that policy makers rationalize the issue as being adequately self-regulated or too difficult to regulate. These positions are untenable since the available literature implicates alcohol as a contributing factor in numerous diving incidents. The written policies we reviewed were found reflect one or more of the following elements: evaluation of diver history with alcohol, specific proscription and punitive actions, monitoring requirements and, less commonly, preventative and educational initiatives. We recommend that best practices for the scientific diving community should include specific direction on each of these elements, in addition to reinforcing a culture to separate alcohol from diving activities.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10162
Date: 2012

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