Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Diving and Snorkelling Safety Policy

Establishment: Vice-Chancellor. 1 May 2008
Last Amended: Vice-President (Corporate Services), 24 August 2016
Nature of Amendment: Updated in line with current legislation, change to officer responsible for dive plans; new clause 10 Disciplinary Action
Date Last Reviewed:  
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources 

1.  Preamble

1.1  This Policy has been developed with reference to relevant legislation, the University Work Health and Safety Policy and the relevant Australian Standards.

1.2  For the purposes of this policy

  • diving includes compressed air, enriched air and mixed gas diving operations; and
  • snorkelling is breath hold with mask or goggles.

1.3  This policy should be read in conjunction with the University Diving Procedures Manual.

2.  Definitions

Senior Executives Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellors,  Vice-President, Executive Deans of Faculty
Worker A person who carries out work in any capacity for the University including academic and professional staff, contractors and sub-contractors and their workers, labour hire company workers, trainees, persons gaining work experience and volunteers.

3.  Scope

This policy applies to all workers, students and visitors involved in any aspect of underwater diving operations related to their role with the University.

This policy does not apply to student recreational clubs1.

1 Student clubs undertaking activities are administered by Flinders Campus Community Services

4.  Legislative and Policy Framework

Appendix A lists the relevant legislation, policies and standards.

5.  Policy

5.1  Diving and snorkelling undertaken as part of University work (including research) will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements set out in this Policy.

5.2  Diving operations undertaken under the auspices of the University will only be authorised for the purposes of scientific research or educational activities.

5.3  Prior to any person undertaking any diving activity related to their role at the University they must:

  • be medically fit to dive and/or snorkel;
  • be appropriately qualified as set out in the University Diving Procedures Manual;
  • have certified that they have read and understood the University Diving Procedures Manual; and
  • ensure that they have been approved to dive, inducted and registered on the University Dive Register.

5.4  All University diving must be undertaken in accordance with a Dive Plan which must be:

  • developed by the Dive Coordinator appointed for each dive team or dive operation;
  • endorsed by the University Boating and Diving Officer; and
  • approved by the relevant Dean of School (or nominee) in accordance with this policy.

6.  Responsibilities

6.1  General

All persons involved in diving are responsible for ensuring that they do so in accordance with this Policy and the University Diving Procedures Manual to ensure safe and efficient diving activities are undertaken.

6.2  Specific responsibilities

Vice-Chancellor Responsible for ensuring that the University meets its legislative responsibilities in relation to diving, including the appointment of a University diving officer.
Executive Deans
(in Faculties where diving activities take place)

Responsible for

  • ensuring that this Policy and the requirements of the University Diving Procedures Manual are implemented and complied with in their Faculty;
  • appointing qualified Dive Coordinators for diving activities conducted in the Faculty upon recommendations from the University Boating and Diving Officer;
  • ensuring that adequate resources are maintained in the Faculty to support safe diving activities; and
  • ensuring that Faculty dive records are kept in accordance with the requirements set out in the University Diving Procedures Manual.
Deans of School
(in Schools where diving activities take place)

Responsible for

  • approving all Dive Plans and associated field trip documentation after the University Boating and Diving Officer (UDO) has given approval on the Dive Plan, prior to commencement of all diving activities;
  • ensuring that a Dive Coordinator is appointed for each dive;
  • ensuring that adequate resources are maintained at the School level to support safe and compliant diving activities;
  • ensuring that the Executive Dean and the WHS Unit are aware of all diving activity being undertaken by the School by providing regular reports to the Faculty Health and Safety Committees;
  • ensuring that all School dive records are kept in accordance with the requirements set out in the University Diving Procedures Manual; and
  • meeting any responsibilities in relation to maintaining a safe research environment as set out in the Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research. 
University Boating and Diving Officer (UBDO)

Responsible for

  • assisting with all dive management tasks within Faculties/, Schools or diving groups, including day-to-day monitoring and oversight;
  • providing advice to staff and students on University policy and procedures as they relate to safe diving;
  • undertaking an annual audit of diving practices in conjunction with the health and safety auditors to ensure compliance with the relevant standards;
  • assessing or ensuring adequate assessment of all divers’ competencies and ensure records of such assessments are kept;
  • ensuring that staff and students undertaking diving activities are appropriately trained and competent for the diving to be undertaken;
  • approving Dive Plans prior to any dive activity commencing;
  • providing advice to Deans of School in relation to Dive Plans prepared by the Dive Coordinator;
  • ensuring that all equipment used for University diving operations is maintained and serviced as required;
  • providing advice to the relevant senior executives on all aspects of diving, including the implementation of the relevant Australian Standards;
  • ensuring that  appropriate records are maintained in accordance with the University Diving Procedures Manual;
  • undertaking regular reviews of diving activities in the University;
  • ensuring that Executive Deans, Deans of School and the WHS Unit are provided with a summary report on diving activities annually; and
  • meeting other responsibilities as set out in the University Diving Procedures Manual.
Dive Coordinators

Responsible for

  • preparing Dive Plans and all field trip documentation, in accordance with the University Diving Procedures Manual, Faculty procedures and any other local area procedures and ensuring these are submitted in a timely manner to the University Boating and Diving Officer;
  • ensuring that the Dive Plan and relevant field trip documentation are approved by the University Boating and Diving Officer and Dean of School (or nominee) prior to any diving activity being undertaken;
  • undertaking, as part of the development of the Dive Plan and field trip procedures, a risk assessment to ensure that, as far as practicable, all hazards are identified before the dive operation proceeds, ensuring that suitable measures to control any risks have been implemented, and at the site, undertaking for day-to-day risk assessment;
  • determining the most efficient means of obtaining medical assistance in the event of an accident during diving or related activities;
  • briefing all participants prior to diving commencing, including where relevant, the ships master, coxswain and any other personnel associated with the dive;
  • being present at the dive operation and ensuring that activities are conducted in accordance with the Dive Plan;
  • reporting all diving accidents, injuries, incidents or near misses as soon as practical to the University Boating and Diving Officer and the WHS Unit;
  • submitting post-trip dive logs to the University Boating and Diving Officer; and
  • meeting other responsibilities as set out in the University Diving Procedures Manual.
Divers/snorkellers

Responsible for

  • complying with the University’s work health and safety policies and procedures, and the requirements of the University Diving Procedures Manual;
  • adopting, at all times, safe working practices relevant to the diving activity;
  • undertaking any diving activities in a manner which does not adversely affect their own health and safety, or that of others;
  • complying with the relevant Dive and Field Trip Plans;
  • reporting to the Dive Coordinator any matter which may affect their own health and safety, or that of others;
  • reporting to the University Boating and Diving Officer any medical condition or injury that commenced or occurred since their last annual diving medical examination (for divers) or since the last snorkelling fitness checklist (for snorkelers);
  • maintaining an up-to-date log book; and
  • meeting any other responsibilities set out in the University Diving Procedures Manual.  
Supervisors of students Responsible for ensuring that where a student’s research project involves any diving activity, it is conducted in accordance with this Policy, the University Diving Procedures Manual and the University’s work health and safety requirements.


7.  Authority of University Boating and Diving Officer

The University Boating and Diving Officer has the authority to restrict, prohibit or suspend diving activities, or require additional safety practices, procedures or equipment to ensure safety.

8.  Record Keeping and Reporting

Records of diving activities must be maintained in accordance with this Policy and the University Diving Procedures Manual to assist in the management and safety of diving operations.

Dive Plans, dive logs and associated risk assessments and related documents must be forwarded to the University Boating and Diving Officer and be retained in an accessible location under the management of the relevant Dean of School.

9.  University Diving Procedures Manual

Prior to undertaking any diving activity related to their role at the University, workers, students and visitors are required to read, understand and comply with the University Diving Procedures Manual which specifies the minimum requirements for all diving activities undertaken.

10.  Disciplinary Action

Failure to comply with the requirements of this Policy or the University Diving Procedures Manual may be cause for revocation or restriction of a diver’s status by action of the University Boating and Diving Officer and any other disciplinary action at the discretion of the Dean of School. Disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the relevant University Policy:

Professional staff

Academic staff

Students

11.  University Boating and Diving Safety Committee

11.1  The University Boating and Diving Safety Committee reports to the University Health and Safety Committee on boating and diving safety matters.

11.2  Specific functions of the Committee are to

  • provide advice on the establishment, implementation and review of a boating and diving safety management systems to ensure the University complies with legislative requirements and manages the risks associated with boating and diving activities;
  • review and provide advice on boating and diving safety policies and procedures;
  • monitor boating and diving activities and boating and diving safety performance; and
  • provide a forum for discussing boating and diving safety.

11.3  The Committee comprises

  • one management representative from each Faculty involved in boating/diving activities
  • University Boating and Diving Officer
  • Faculty/School staff and students involved in diving activities
  • University WHS Consultant

The Committee may co-opt additional members as appropriate.

12.  Deputy University Boating and Diving Officer

The Associate Director, WHS will nominate a suitably qualified person to act in the role of University Boating and Diving Officer when the need arises.

13.  Review

This Policy and the University Diving Procedures Manual will be reviewed regularly in light of legislative and organisational changes and, in any case, at least every four years to ensure they remain effective, relevant and appropriate to the University, and reflects current legislative requirements.

Appendix A

Legal and Policy Framework

Legislation and Codes of Practice

South Australia

Northern Territory

Victoria

Australian Standards relevant to diving

AS/NZS 2299.1 2007 Occupational diving operations – Standard operational practice.

AS/NZS 2299.2: 2002 Occupational diving operations – Scientific diving

AS/NZS 2299.3:2003 Recreational industry diving and snorkelling operations

AS/NZ 2299.4:2004 Film and photographic diving

AS 2815.1:2008 Training & certification of occupational divers – Occupational SCUBA diver – standard

AS 2030.1:2009 Gas cylinders – general requirements

AS2030.5:2009 and Amdmt 1-2015 Gas cylinders – filling, inspection and testing of refillable cylinders

AS 3848.2 1999 Filling of portable gas cylinders - Filling of portable cylinders for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) and non-underwater self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) - Safe procedures

University policies and procedures

All University policies and procedures apply regardless of location. The following are particularly relevant to diving: