Complaints by five former North Sea divers, that their professional activities caused serious health problems in later life, will be considered by human rights judges next week.
The European Court of Human Rights will hold a public hearing on Tuesday 18 September at 9h (CET) on the admissibility and merits of the case Vilnes and Others v. Norway (nos. 52806/09 and 22703/10).
The applicants are five Norwegian nationals living in Norway, Dag Vilnes (born in 1949 and living in Tønsberg), Magn Håkon Muledal (born in 1953 and living in Førde), Bjørn Anders Nesdal (born in 1958 and living in Kristiansand), Knut Arvid Nygård (born in 1961 and living in Tananger) and Per Arne Jacobsen (born in 1954 and living in Larvik);and, a Swedish national, Mr Lindahl (born in 1942, and living in Avaldsnes, Norway) and an Icelandic national, Sigurdur P. Hafsteninsson (born in 1953 and living in Jersey, United Kingdom).
They are all former deep sea divers who took part in North Sea diving operations for the petroleum industry during what is known as the pioneer period (from 1965 to 1990). All allege that they developed health problems and are now disabled as a result of both bounce (short) and saturation (longer duration) diving jobs.
Most now suffer from obstructive lung disease, encephalopathy, reduced hearing and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They particularly allege that shortcuts taken in their working conditions and safety had put their health and lives in jeopardy.
Webcast of hearing on 18 September