A diving company has been fined after a series of Health & Safety failings. The Health & Safety Executive conducted an investigation into the operations that led to the breaches in question.
The Diving Operations
In 2016, two divers were in the water during a diving operation. On the boat, there was only one person. One of the divers in the water was a young person, who did not have the required diving qualifications. He also did not have a certificate of medical fitness. This is crucial to legally dive. Conducting a dive without the correct documentation can lead to dangerous conditions. This can result in Health & Safety breaches and even injury or worse.
In 2017, there was another incident for the company. A diver went missing while diving for scallops. He was found 11 hours later, floating off of the Scottish mainland.
Diving contractors have to ensure the safety of their divers as a legal obligation. The dives in question were not safe.
The HSE conducted an investigation. This found that the company were not meeting their legal obligations. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 15 and 33 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. They were also in breach of Regulation 6 of the Diving at Work Regulations 1997. As a result, they were fined £15,000.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector of Diving Bill Elrick commented: ‘The company showed a complete lack of duty of care to their divers. Young people are vulnerable and need to be protected in the workplace. Having only one person on the vessel meant it would be virtually impossible to recover a stricken diver and divers must be appropriately qualified and medically fit to dive.’
While conducting the investigation, inspectors wore body-worn CCTV cameras, which is common practice and a good way of capturing valuable evidence.
Avoiding Health & Safety Breaches
It’s important to be aware of Health & Safety in any environment. The best way to do this is to have a thorough risk assessment.
If you aren’t sure how to go about getting a risk assessment, why not get in touch with our friendly team? Our consultants are highly qualified and are capable of creating a risk assessment that is specific to your business.
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