Department of Employment and Labour spells out new regulations for commercial diving sector
Economic costs of poor occupational health and safety practices in the form of medical and rehabilitation costs as well as loss of income affects both the employer and the employee, Department of Employment and Labour tells commercial divers in Gqeberha, today.
“The International Labour Organization(ILO) estimates that 4% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost due to accidents and work-related diseases. It has been established that the economic costs of poor occupational health and safety practices affects both the employer and the employee. This is as a result of employers’ medical and rehabilitation costs plus the employee’s loss of income”, said the Senior Specialist: Occupational Health and Hygiene, Bulelwa Huna.
Huna told the workshop that the Department of Employment and Labour has never accepted the proposition that injury and disease ‘go with the job’. She stressed the importance of as occupational health and safety is now a fundamental right. “All social partners have to work together to promote and ensure this fundamental right,” she said.
The workshops follow the promulgation of the new commercial diving regulations on May 20, this year. The workshop dealt with the application of the Occupational Health and Safety legislation in the commercial diving industry, the training standards for commercial divers as well as logistical processes.
Huna reiterated the core values of occupational health and safety as adopted by the ILO. She said “the core values as reflected in ILO standards on occupational safety and health are expressed in three main principles being that the diving activities should take place in a safe and healthy working environment; conditions of commercial diving activities should be consistent with divers and workers’ wellbeing and human dignity; and work and commercial diving activities should offer real possibilities for personal achievement, self-fulfillment and service to society.
According to the new regulation, for someone to be trained as a commercial diver, the training provider must consider the individual’s abilities and course requirements. “For one to be trained as a commercial diver, an individual must have attributes of a diver; that is, physically capable, capable of rational thoughts during execution of underwater tasks, competent to dive through experience and familiarity of equipment and technique, and capable to safely plan and execute a commercial dive for the certification class trained for,” Specialist: Occupation Health and Hygiene, Jabulile Mhlophe told the gathering.
She told the gathering that in addition to the personal attributes, an individual must pass theoretical as well as practical assessments.
Mhlophe also took the workshop through the process of license registration for commercial diving contractors, organisations, commercial diving schools as well as individual divers.
Nozi Maphoto, the principal inspector: occupational health and Hygiene, took the workshop through several new regulations which deal with the responsibilities as well as logistical requirements in diving operations.
The next commercial diving workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at the University of Cape Town (John Day LT2 in the John Day Building, University Ave North, UCT, Upper Campus, Rondebosch) in the Western Cape Province followed by the last one to take place in Durban. All workshops start at 08:30.
Source: Government of South Africa