Hiring Diving Contractors

Diving is a competitive business but it is also a dangerous work activity so it is essential that corners are not cut. Special skills and safety requirements are needed to undertake diving work.

When hiring a diving contractor you need to ensure that the diving contractor is competent, compliant and aware of the relevant Occupational Health and Safety law.

Commercial Diver

You should ask the diving contractor/company you are considering hiring:

  • whether the divers and dive team members meet the competence requirements of the law.
  • for proof of training i.e. appropriate commercial diving qualifications (not recreational diving qualifications).
  • what their experience is in doing the type of work you need done.
  • for references (from similar jobs if possible) or copies of their recent diving operation records (which the law requires must be kept). These records will show the types of jobs they have done and any problems they have come across.

A written diving project plan should be prepared for the diving project. You should ask to see it before work begins.

Although not a health and safety matter, you may want to check that the diving contractor has appropriate insurance.

Client Responsibilities 

As a client  (i.e. the person(s) or entity which commissions the diving work) ensure that:

  • A competent person is appointed in writing to be the diving contractor for the diving project.
  • Written confirmation of the acceptance of the appointment is received from the diving contractor.
  • The scope of the work is clearly defined and agreed with the diving contractor.
  • It is clear and agreed what facilities and support you will provide in the event of an emergency.
  • The diving contractor has been informed of any potential hazards that are under your control or you are aware of, e.g. underwater obstructions, water intakes or discharges, possible contamination or water control structures that will need to be disabled and locked out before diving takes place. Take steps to remove or reduce potential hazards where possible.
  • Sufficient time and facilities are made available to the diving contractor to carry out risk assessments, lock out procedures etc. and to carry out the work safely.
  • The work of the divers and your employees is coordinated for example, ensuring that diving work is complete and all divers and equipment are out of the area before resuming work or removing a lock out.