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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

8. Personnel

8.2 Training and competence - Rescue and first aid


The diving contractor must ensure that adequate medical support, with competencies appropriate to the diving environment, is available at all times to deal with an emergency situation. Medical support should be available to the diver from the time of injury until the diver receives appropriate medical care. The hazard identification and risk assessment should guide the diving contractor in this respect.


Generally speaking the following should be in place:


Any diver that is not able to help himself in an emergency should be rescued. This is usually done by a fellow diver or the standby diver. This means that all divers should be in possession of an in-date first aid qualification and be competent in standard diving rescue techniques. The standby diver must be in immediate readiness to dive and shall remain on duty at the control point on the surface of the water during the diving operation. When diving with a wet bell or similar equipment, the standby diver (bellman) must descend in the bell and must remain in the bell so as to be able to immediately render assistance to the diver working from the bell.


Diving supervisors should have an in-date first aid qualification and be able to take over and manage the diving emergency appropriately and have competency in doing a basic cardio-respiratory and field-neurological examination and consult with a Designated Medical Practitioner.


The diving supervisor should be in contact with the Designated Medical Practitioner in the case of a diving accident to ensure that optimal treatment of any condition is given to the injured diver.