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

4. Operations

4.2 Emergency and contingency plans


Before a dive commences, all members of the diving team must be systematically and thoroughly informed and trained with regard to the procedures to be followed in case of an emergency.


This is usually done in the form of induction training and the "toolbox talk".


4.2.1        Diving emergencies


The diving contractors operations manual should contain a section laying out the actions required of each member of the diving team in the event of a foreseeable emergency occurring during operations.


The following list, which is not exhaustive, identifies the type of possible emergencies to be considered:

Dealing with an Injured or unconscious diver: both in the water and on the surface
Provision of recompression therapy in the case of decompression illness
Communication with emergency services, local medical facilities and hospitals
Providing first aid
Faulty or broken equipment
Managing contaminated divers (biological/ chemical/ radiological/ etc.)
Emergency evacuation of the worksite


Specific checklists should be provided whenever appropriate to facilitate management in an emergency.


4.2.2 Standby diver


Before the dive commences, the standby diver must be adequately dressed, checked and ready to go with mask or helmet off and have adequate diving equipment with an independent breathing gas appropriate for the depths and circumstances in which the standby diver would have to operate should a rescue become necessary.


4.2.3 Recovery of unconscious diver


All dive sites shall have a means of recovering an unconscious or injured diver from the water safety and effectively in a timely manner.


4.2.4        Medical assistance Level 2 designated Medical Practitioners


The diving contractor shall ensure that arrangements are made with one or more level 2 Designated Medical Practitioners, either with the Designated Medical Practitioners directly or with a medical facility employing Designated Medical Practitioners whenever diving projects are planned.


The operations manual should clearly indicate the responsibilities of the designated medical practitioner and the extent of involvement in diving operations. The following guidelines should be considered:

Irrespective of the type of diving performed, each diving team should have reasonable access to the advice of a designated medical practitioner
Whenever a significant injury occurs during a diving project, the diving supervisor is required to follow the company protocol. The Designated Medical Practitioner must be contacted in all cases and the injury should be recorded as an occupational injury on duty.
Whenever decompression sickness occurs (or symptoms in a diver are suggestive of decompression sickness), the diving contractor is required to consult the designated medical practitioner in all cases (even if routine treatment is needed) and the incident must be recorded as an occupational disease.
In certain cases, depending on the HIRA, the on-site attendance of the designated medical practitioner may be required for the entire duration of the diving operation. Emergency medical services


Certain circumstances may require the diving contractor to make use of emergency services, e.g. to assist in managing injuries or to assist with decontamination procedures after diving in hazardous materials.


The contact number for the local emergency services (or the national emergency number) should be readily available to the diving team.


The specific procedures for contacting emergency services should be clearly outlined in the operations manual and checklists should be provided to facilitate appropriate management in an emergency.



4.2.5 Termination of dive


At the onset of any sign of malfunction of equipment or sign or symptom of distress, the diver shall, when possible, notify the dive supervisor, the dive tender, and any diving buddy by an appropriate signal and terminate the dive.