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Professional Diving

A Code of Practice written in the UK to clarify the Diving at Works Regulations 1997, was approved by Commerce and Employment after consultation with the local professional diving industry. Several amendments were included, in particular local professional divers were granted a period of "grandfather rights" prior to holding an approved professional diving qualification. Therefore all professional divers operating locally, must hold an approved diving qualification, no later than 1st May 2002.

Issues dealt with in the Codes include matters such as diving project planning and risk assessment; dive teams and associated working practices; diving plant and medical checks.

A leaflet on commercial shellfish diving in inshore waters can be downloaded below.

Recreational Diving

The sport of amateur diving is loosely regulated in the islands by two organisations, PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors) and BSAC (the British Sub-Aqua Club). Both organisations operate strict training regimes which include both theory and practical instruction and whilst this instruction can be on a non-commercial basis, the popularity of the sport has seen BSAC and PADI approved schools being set up to operate on a commercial basis.

Health & Safety legislation does not extend to the private individual diving for recreational purposes, however when that individual is being taught by a trained instructor who is charging a fee for monetary gain, the law is applicable.

The instructor and school have explicit duties to their students in exactly the same way that the States of Guernsey Education Council have to school children whilst in their care; or Beau Sejour have to customers attending a concert in the sports hall.

It was therefore decided that in order to clarify the duties of instructors operating for gain that the Approved Code of Practice made in the United Kingdom, under "The Diving at Work Regulations, 1997", should be approved with certain amendments locally.

The code of practice, written in co-operation with BSAC and PADI, is therefore very relevant to the local diving scene. However, failure to observe the code is not an offence in itself but it can be taken as proving that the defendant has failed to comply with the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 1987, unless he can demonstrate that he has complied with the Ordinance in some alternative and equally effective way.

Approved Codes of Practice

The following ACoPs are available in printed form from the Health and Safety Executive:

  • recreational diving
  • inland/inshore diving

The Approved Code of Practice in inland/inshore diving requires that a person should not act as a diving contractor without submitting relevant particulars to the Health and Safety Executive. This can be done using the form that can be downloaded below.

Health and Safety Executive

PO Box 459,  Raymond Falla House,  Longue Rue,  St Martins,  GY1 6AF,  Guernsey
Tel: 44 1481 234567 Fax: 44 1481 235015
Email: hse@commerce.gov.gg

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