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PDFWAC 296-36-100

Compression and decompression of workmen—General.

Subject to subsections 1-5 below, compression and decompression of workmen shall be carried out in accordance with the rules hereinafter prescribed:
(1) Compression or decompression may be carried out in accordance with such alternative regulations as are approved by the state department of labor and industries in writing.
(2) Except in an emergency, no workman shall be compressed to a pressure exceeding 50 pounds per square inch gage unless regulations for the decompression of such workman have been approved under the foregoing paragraph of this rule.
(3) The monograph "Decompression sickness and its prevention among compressed air workers" prepared by Gerald J. Duffner, M.D. (Captain, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy) and dated 6 November 1962, establishes the criteria for and shall be the guide in the determination of decompression methods and procedures and the preparation of decompression tables. Copies of the monograph are available from the supervisor of safety, department of labor and industries, state of Washington.
(4) A special low-pressure decompression chamber of sufficient size to accommodate the entire force of workmen being decompressed at the end of a shift shall be provided under the following circumstances:
Excepting the infrequent, occasional or emergency condition, when any regularly established routine term or schedule of work includes a working period requiring a total time of decompression exceeding seventy-five minutes, the special low-pressure decompression chamber shall be provided and shall be used as a facility to accomplish the final stage or phase of decompression. The special chamber shall conform with and shall be operated in accordance with sections WAC 296-36-130 and 296-36-120(2) example No. 2 respectively.
(5) When a workman has, within the immediately preceding period of 8 hours, been exposed to a pressure greater than 13 pounds per square inch gage and has to be compressed in a man lock other than the lock in which he was last decompressed, he shall, before compression, produce to the lock attendant written particulars signed by the lock attendant of the lock where he was last decompressed indicating his last working period. For the purposes of these regulations, the term "working period" shall mean the period or the sum of the periods during which, since last subject to ordinary atmospheric pressure for at least 8 consecutive hours, a workman has been under pressure in a working chamber or chambers; the written particulars shall be specific in stating the length of time the workman was exposed to compressed air, the gage pressure to which he was subjected, the schedule of decompression used, the total length of time devoted to decompression procedures and the hour at which decompression was completed. As soon as practicable, all data shall be entered in the prescribed register or log at the lock where he is compressed and the data shall, as soon as practicable, be communicated to the attendant at any other lock from which the workman is liable to return to the open air.
[Rules (Part IV A), filed 12/28/62; § 2, filed 3/23/60.]
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