Div­ing Ac­ci­dents Have De­creased by 40%, says Min­is­ter Usa­mate

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

Fiji Sun - - Parliament News - LOSIRENE LACANIVALU Edited by Percy Kean Feed­back: losirene.lacanivalu@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

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