NIOSH Docket Number 254
Request for Information on Edel-Kindwall Caisson Tables for Preventing Decompression Illness in Construction Workers
High pressure tunneling operations are used for some underground infrastructure projects. Compressed air is used to prevent seepage of water or to stabilize unstable soil conditions. Caisson work (a water-tight structure that allows underwater construction to be performed) can also involve elevated pressure worksites. This hyperbaric environment (ambient pressure and compressed air effects) exposes caisson and tunnel workers to the risks of decompression sickness (DCS) also called the "bends". DCS is related to intravascular or extravascular bubbles formed during reduction of environmental pressure (decompression). The release of nitrogen bubbles into blood or tissues can result in obstruction of blood flow or pressure effects. Clinical manifestations of DCS include (but are not limited to) joint pain ("bends"), lytic lesions of bones (dysbaric osteonecrosis), cutaneous disorders (cutis marmorata), spinal cord and brain disorders (stroke, paralysis, paresthesias, bladder dysfunction, etc.), and cardiopulmonary disorders (shortness of breath ["chokes"]), arterial gas embolism).
More information can be found on the Decompression Sickness and Tunnel Workers page.
To view submissions received in response to this docket go to http://www.regulations.gov.
Materials Under Consideration
- Federal Register Notice
- Criteria for interim decompression tables for caisson and tunnel workers
- G3A Air Interim Decompression Tables – Utilized for pressures in the range from 14 psi to 50 psi to be used at altitudes no greater than 800 – 1000 feet.
- G3A1 Air Interim Decompression back-up Tables for G-3A – Serves as a backup for Table G3A where environmental or individual conditions warrant, based on the most severe conditions which might be anticipated and under which such conditions should produce a decompression sickness incidence that is significantly improved over current practice.
- G3B1 Oxygen Interim Decompression Tables – Note that these should not be used unless the contractor is willing to obtain special training for the personnel involved and properly maintain the required oxygen equipment.
- G3C Air Saturation Interim Decompression Table – These should be used when operational needs or emergencies required workers to remain under hyperbaric conditions for more than 8 hours.
- French Tables
- A guide to the work in compressed air regulations 1996
Public Comment Period
Written comments on the document will be accepted through March 29, 2013 in accordance with the instructions below. All materials submitted should reference CDC-2012-0012 and NIOSH-254.
Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. EST on March 29, 2013.
- Federal rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
- Mail: NIOSH Docket Office
Robert A. Taft Laboratories
4676 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45226
Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number. All relevant comments, including any personal information provided, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
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