Acts Online
GT Shield

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

Code of Practice

Diving Regulations, 2009

Code of Practice for Inshore Diving

3. Organisation

3.4 The Diving Supervisor(see 8.1..1.1 for Competence: Diving supervisors)


Diving supervisors are responsible for the operations that they have been appointed to supervise and they shall only hand over control to another supervisor appointed in writing by the diving contractor. Such a handover must be entered and signed in the relevant operations logbook.


A supervisor can only supervise as much of a diving operation as they can personally control both during routine operations and if an emergency should occur. A supervisor cannot supervise two different dive sites at once.


The supervisor with overall responsibility for the operation is the only person who can order the start of a dive subject to appropriate work permits, etc. and will normally also be the person to terminate the dive. Other relevant parties, such as a ship's master or site manager, can however instruct the supervisor to terminate the dive for safety or operational reasons.


The supervisor is entitled to give direct orders in relation to health and safety to any person taking part in, or who has any influence over, the diving operation. These orders take precedence over any company hierarchy. These orders could include instructing unnecessary personnel to leave a control area, instructing personnel to operate equipment, etc.


To ensure that the diving operation is carried out safely, the supervisor will need to consider a number of points, including:

The supervisor should satisfy themself that they are competent to carry out the work, and that they understand their own areas and levels of responsibility and who is responsible for any other relevant aspects. Such responsibilities must be specified in the relevant documentation. They should also ensure that they are in possession of a letter from the Diving Contractor appointing them as a diving supervisor for the company.
The supervisor will need to satisfy themself that the personnel that they are to supervise are competent to carry out the work required of them. They should also check that these personnel are in possession of a valid medical certificate of fitness, and, as far as they are reasonably able, physically, psychologically, and medically fit for the operation.
The supervisor will need to check that the equipment they propose to use for any particular operation is fit for purpose, adequate, safe, properly certified and maintained. They can do this by confirming that the equipment meets the requirements set down in this Code. They should ensure that the equipment is adequately checked by himself or herself or another competent person prior to its use. Such checks should be documented, for example, on a pre -prepared checklist which should be signed and recorded in or appended to the operations log for the project.
When the operation uses, or plans to use, complex or potentially hazardous equipment, the supervisor will need to ensure that the possible hazards have been evaluated and are fully understood by all relevant parties and that, if required, training is given. This will be carried out as part of the risk assessment during the planning of the operation and should be documented. If the situation changes, however, further risk assessment must be considered. Supervisors will meet their responsibilities by ensuring the documentation exists and following any guidance contained in the documentation, for example, in manufacturer's operating and maintenance instructions.
The supervisor will need to ensure that the operation they are being asked to supervise complies with the requirements of this Code or that variations are authorized, either in the Operations Manual, or for the specific operation.
The supervisor must establish that all involved parties are aware that a diving operation is going to start or continue. They will also need to obtain any necessary permission before starting or continuing the operation, normally via a "permit to-work" system.
The supervisor will need to have clear audible and, if possible, visual communications with any personnel under their supervision. For example, a supervisor will be able to control the raising and lowering of a diving bell adequately if there is a direct audio link with the winch operator, even though the winch may be physically located where the supervisor cannot see it or have ready access to it.
During wet bell diving operations, supervisors will need to be able to see the divers inside the wet bell. This will normally be achieved on the surface by means of direct viewing through the view ports but when the wet bell is under water this will be by means of a CCTV camera.
The supervisor will need to have direct communications with any diver, standby diver, or bellman in the water at all times, even if another person also needs to talk to, or listen to, the diver.
The supervisor shall comply with all the requirements imposed on him or her in accordance with Regulation 9 of the Regulations.