Inspection program looks at recreational diving and snorkelling

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WorkSafe has commenced a proactive inspection program to look at safety in the recreational diving and snorkelling industry.

The inspection program will run until the end of the financial year and will include both metropolitan and regional areas of the State.

WorkSafe WA Director Joe Attard said today that, although the number of injuries in the recreational diving and snorkelling industry was relatively low, the consequences of incidents are often serious.

“We decided to take a close look at the industry because the potential consequences of the injuries that do occur are very serious, and can easily result in death,” Mr Attard said.

“Given the length of the WA coastline and the number and variety of people who take advantage of the aquatic environment, it’s imperative that the risks to workers and patrons are identified, assessed and controlled as far as is practicable.

“The diving and snorkelling industry has a diverse workforce, and operations are impacted by environmental factors, changes in technology and differences in equipment used.

“The dynamic nature of the industry makes it vital that business operators provide adequate and appropriate training, information, communication and systems of work and that these are maintained to a high standard and reviewed on an ongoing basis.”

The key areas to be covered during the inspection program are:

  • The dive centre and/or training facility;
  • The dive cylinder filling station and procedures; and
  • The open water activities, including emergency plans and procedures.

Inspectors will look at WorkSafe’s priority areas, including manual tasks, slips, trips and falls, electricity, hazardous substances, falls from height, safe movement of vehicles and machine guarding.

The more industry-specific areas that will be looked at include:

  • People – including training, qualifications and medical fitness, skill levels, decompression management and language and literacy issues;
  • Plant and diving equipment – including pressure vessels, cylinder filling and risks from vessels; and
  • Plans, procedures and practices – including dive plans, supervision and lookouts, entry and exit from water, head counts, emergency plans and first aid.

Mr Attard said the primary aim of the inspection program was to make sure that employers had the information they required to comply with workplace safety laws and provide a safe workplace for everyone involved.

“As with all of WorkSafe’s proactive inspection programs, provision of information is the main objective, but inspectors will take enforcement action if they see breaches of the laws,” he said.

“Inspectors will work with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency.

“Contact has also been made with the industry, so employers should be well aware of the inspection program and what will be expected when an inspector visits.”

Further information:

Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

caroline.devaney@commerce.wa.gov.au

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

WorkSafe
Media release
12 Jan 2016

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