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
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.