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I wrote to my MP about this particular bit of nonsense and had a reply back. He's going to take it up with the relevant Secretary of State, although I'm dubious as to whether or not that'll make any difference.

There are times when I wished I lived in a country when badly thought out legislation like this hits the books everyone just ignores it and carries on as before. Ah well...

Danny
 

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Just to add to this, I wrote to my MP who wrote to the head of the HSE and one of the ministers at the Dept of Health, from where it was transferred to the Dept of Work and Pensions. My original email gave a potted summary of the history to this and why it was a bit of nonsense. Here are the replies.

From Geoffrey Podger, Chief Exec, HSE, dated 8 July 2007.
"New EU standard for Diving Tank pillar valve sizes

"Thank you for your letter dated 8 June 2007, enclosing one from your constituent Mr Danny Edmunds about the above standard, which is due to be implemented in August 2008.
"As your constituent correctly says in his correspondence, HSE did not support the drafting or introduction of BS EN 144-3, on the grounds that it was not necessary to improve safety. However, other CEN committee members accepted it and the proposal became a European standard.
"Standards are not mandatory but provide a means of demonstrating appropriate risk controls have been applied - this may of course be achieved in other equally effective ways. Where a standard such as this for respiratory devices exists, it is open to manufacturers to manufacture such devices according to different standards (including their own standards) provided that the manufacturer can show those non-standardised devices meet the essential requirements of the Directive.
"Whilst this standard is not enshrined in UK legislation, it is now a harmonised European Standard, which means that it provides guidance to European industry on an accepted means to meet a European Directive. Given this status, it is expected that the UK diving industry will comply with it from it's implementation date of August 2008 and some diving manufacturers are already producing valves to BS EN 144-3 standard.
"I hope this helps to clarify our position, yours sincerely Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive"

and from Bill McKenzie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions dated 5 July 2007.
"As you know your letter of 8 June to Caroline Flint who was formerly at the Department of Health has been transferred to this Department for reply. You wrote on behalf of Mr Danny Edmunds at <my address here> about his concerns on the standard applied to diving tank pillar valves. I am replying as the Minister responsible for health and safety issues.
"I note that you also wrote to Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive, and I have nothing to add to his reply.
"Yours sincerely, Bill McKenzie"

So now we know. Or not... ;-)
 

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40% is a common mix, and i heard of someone that ended up diving it to 40m by accident... poor procedure is not as uncommon as you all may like to think.

Personnally i'm anti the change, but i can see how they Eurocrats may believe they are making things safer.
Unfortunately this change does nothing to stop anyone breathing 40% at 40m. Either safety isn't the prime reason here or it was put together by people that have little or no concept of diving. Either way it's just bloody stupid!
 

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Fortunately, the diving community is more like care in the community - we all know everyone on our patch, even if we avoid some of them at parties! In other words, I'll have adpaters to sell to anyone who hasn't got one, to hire if a foreign (non-EU) visitor pops in for a fill but won't need to comply long term (in Northampton - yeah like that's gonna happen) and to borrow for those that I know have adapters (I keep records of sales these days - the VAT man got very insistent) but forgot to bring it with them.

If I've forgotten an eventuality someone please tell me, I've started on volume 2 of the risk assessment....:)
Andy, if I turned up with a DIN tank that had an A-clamp adaptor in it would you fill it Nitrox?
 

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I've got a copy...

"This European Standard is applicable to a thread connection used for the connection between a gas cylinder valve and a pressure reducer for respiratory equipment for diving containing breathable nitrox gas with an oxygen content greater than 22 % or oxygen."

"In recognition of the very high number of valves using threads of existing national design and the high costs that would be caused by the unnecessary early replacement of these, it is acknowledged that a 5 year transitional period will be required to phase in valves using the thread described in this standard. During the ensuing period valves may be supplied with threads to the existing national design or to the standard described herein."

Note that this is simply a standard, not a law. In the same way that a QWERTY keyboard is a standard, not law.
what date is that? i'm assuming it's 2003.

but with a qwerty keyboard you aren't going to get some bureaucrat with a clipboard fining you if you do use a different layout. or even a bureaucrat without a clipboard...
 

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I've been having a conversation with Julie Voce-Pascoe, the head of the HSE Offshore Policy unit. The meat of the conversation is below, taken verbatim from the email she sent me.

"We do not hold any documents relating to the origin of the revision of
this standard, which started over 7 years ago. CEN, the European
Committee for Standardisation, is responsible for producing this
standard. Their overall stated aim is to contribute to the objectives
of the European Union and European Economic Area with voluntary
technical standards which promote free trade, the safety of workers and
consumers, interoperability of networks, environmental protection,
exploitation of research and development programmes, and public
procurement. This supports a more streamlined harmonisation within
Europe - a key element of the 'New Approach Directives'.

"The British Standards Institution (BSi) is a member of CEN.

"As you are aware, the UK voted against the introduction of this standard
but were outvoted and are now bound by the majority decision under the
consensus rule under which CEN operates. You may find it helpful to
consult their website at :: CEN - European Committee for Standardization :: About us"

She's also sent me a copy of what appears to be the responses from the various EU members to the original proposal which she was supplied by the BSI. I've put the PDF on my website at M26 Nitrox legislation

danny
 
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