As diving can be both physically and mentally demanding, a diver must not dive in a diving project unless they are fit to do so and hold a valid certificate of medical fitness.
For a certificate of medical fitness to be valid, it must be:
- in the name of the diver;
- issued by an AMED;
- in date for the period of the diving project that the diver is participating in; and
- in compliance with any conditions.
Certificates of medical fitness which were issued under the Safety in Industry (Diving Operations) Regulations 1981 and have not expired, are recognised under Regulation 21 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Diving) Regulations 2018 and 2019, until they expire. All certificates of medical fitness to dive issued under the Safety in Industry (Diving Operations) Regulations 1981 should be out of circulation by the 30th April 2020.
Under Section 77(2) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No.10 of 2005) a person commits an offence if they:
- Forge or use a document issued or authorised to be issued under the Diving Regulations (or any other relevant statutory provision) with the intent to deceive;
- Make or have in their possession a document so closely resembling any such documents as to be calculated to deceive.
Altering or falsifying a certificate of medical fitness is an offence under the 2005 Act. Such actions not only endanger the diver but also endanger the other members of the dive team.
Penalties for offences are laid out in Section 78(2) of the 2005 Act as amended by Section 12(f) of the Chemicals (Amendment) Act 2010 (No.32 of 2010).
A person found guilty of an offence is liable:
- On summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or
- On conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €3 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.