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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)

Code of Practice

Diving Regulations, 2009

Code of Practice for Inshore Diving

1. Introduction

1.3 Status of this Code


This Code is issued in terms of Regulation 24(b) of the Diving Regulations, 2009 and is based on the principles of providing a workplace that is acceptably safe and without undue risks to health.


If there is conflict between this Code and the Diving Regulations. the Diving Regulations take precedence.


Failure to observe the Code shall render a person liable in any proceedings. When courts interpret and apply the Diving Regulations with respect to the type of diving procedures covered by this code, they should consider this code to be an accepted standard of good practice.


Employers, employees and their organizations shall use this Code to develop, implement and refine their diving practices to address the health and safety issues in their own workplaces. This code shall specifically be consulted when preparing operations manuals.


This Code is intentionally general, because every person and situation is unique and departures from the guidelines in this code may be justified in appropriate circumstances.


This Code is not a substitute for company operation manuals and procedures, although it provides some guidance in aspects that should be covered in those manuals.


1.3.1        The Occupational Health and Safety Act, Diving Regulations and other Regulations


The Occupational Health and Safety Act is the overarching legislative text, determining the duties of employers, employees, health and safety representatives, health and safety committees, etc. The Diving Regulations are provided in order to provide details on how the Act should be applied in the diving industry. Greater detail is provided for specific sectors of the diving industry in the Codes of Practice provided under the Diving Regulations.


This Code is the default code of practice for commercial diving in South Africa. It should be referred to in the absence of any code more specifically applying to the circumstances of any commercial diving operation within the scope of the Diving Regulations. When another diving code of practice is more specifically relevant to a diving contract, that code should generally be followed providing the advice given is applicable to the operation. When a more specific code does not provide sufficient guidance in particular circumstances, and this code does, this code may be used.


Other regulations published under the Act may be applicable from time to time. These must also be consulted whenever appropriate, including Codes of Practice that may be published in terms of those regulations.


Other Acts may also be relevant to a specific diving project and the diving contractor should ensure that all the relevant texts are consulted.


The Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act No. 85 of 1993) and its regulations take precedence over this code and the advice of this Code should be followed only where it does not conflict with said legislation.


Any contractor carrying out inshore/inland diving operations shall establish whether there are any other National Regulations that may apply to the diving project. For instance, if construction work is undertaken, due regard should be given to aspects covered in the Construction Regulations; Diving in contaminated waters may require consultation with the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances or the Regulations for Hazardous Biological Agents; If any loud noise is present in the workplace, the Noise Induced Hearing Loss Regulations should be consulted, etc. These are all aspects that are not covered in the Diving Regulations nor in detail in this code.