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Diving Accidents Have Decreased By 40%, Says Minister Usamate

Diving Accidents Have Decreased By 40%, Says Minister Usamate
May 18
11:00 2018

Safety inspection guidelines are developed by the ministry and awareness sessions conducted for employers, suppliers and owners of diving equipment

The enforcement of the Diving Reg­ulation from 2014 has seen diving accidents decreasing drastically by about 40 per cent to date.

Minister for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity Jone Usamate disclosed this statistic while responding to Government MP Ruveni Nadalo in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Usamate said because of the new technical and legal requirements sectors within the diving industry needed time to prepare themselves.

Thus the starting date for the enforce­ment of regulations was delayed to June 6, 2014.

He said between 2006 and 2014 the min­istry through the National OHS Service continued to work with the Fisheries De­partment and other stakeholders.

These included the Republic of Fiji Mil­itary Forces (RFMF) naval division, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Fiji Dive Operators Association, Fiji Rec­ompression Chamber Facility and the Beche-de-mer Council to curb diving ac­cidents in the fisheries commercial sec­tor.

He said the safety inspection guide­lines were developed by the ministry and awareness sessions were conducted for employers, suppliers and owners of dive equipment.

“The intent of the Diving Regulations 2006 was to address related accidents, the causes of which are basically lack of awareness on the diving risks and lack of training, risk taking personalities and motivation for quick money,” the minis­ter said.

With the number of accidents de­creasing, Mr Usamate expects further reduction with more inspections and enforcement by the OHS inspectorate na­tionwide.

Some challenges faced by the ministry in the implementation of the Diving Reg­ulations are:

  • Failure to report dive related acci­dents – Diving Employers and Operators are not reporting diving-related acci­dents on time or not reported at all.
  • Registration of diving equipment and diving staff: All diving employers must register their diving equipment and div­ing staff
  • Diver training – Divers without any proper training were identified by the OHS inspectors through inspections and audits of records of diving operators, employers and suppliers of diving equip­ment.

Edited by Percy Kean


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