Commercial divers have been informed by the Department of Employment and Labor that poor occupational health and safety procedures have financial repercussions for both the company and the employee in the form of medical and rehabilitation expenses as well as lost wages.
Senior Specialist: Occupational Health and Hygiene, Bulelwa Huna, stated during a commercial diving workshop in Gqeberha on Tuesday that the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost due to accidents and work- related illnesses.
Poor occupational health and safety procedures have been shown to have financial repercussions for both the business and the employee.
Due to the employee’s lost wages and the employers’ medical and rehabilitation expenses, “said Huna.
Huna informed the workshop that the department has never agreed that illness and injuries “go with the territory.”
She emphasized the importance of workplace health and safety. To ensure and advance this fundamental right, all social partners must collaborate. “She spoke.
The workshops come after the new commercial diving regulations were announced on May 20 of this year.
The session covered the use of occupational health and safety laws in the commercial diving sector, commercial diver training requirements, and logistical procedures.
Huna reaffirmed the fundamental principles of work-related health and safety as endorsed by the ILO.
“The three primary principles are the core values as articulated in the ILO standards on occupational safety and health, one of which is that the diving activities should be conducted in a safe and healthy working environment.
The conditions of commercial diving operations “should be consistent with the welfare of divers and workers and human dignity; and labor and commercial diving operations should offer actual prospects for personal success, self-fulfilment, and contribution to society,” she stated.
According to the new laws, the training provider must take the student’s skills and course requirements into account before certifying them as a commercial diver.
Jabulile Mhlophe, a specialist in occupational health and hygiene, reminded the audience that in order to be educated as a commercial diver, a person must possess certain characteristics of a diver.
According to Mhlophe, this means being “physically capable, capable of rational thought while performing tasks underwater, competent to dive through experience and familiarity with equipment and technique, and capable to safely plan and execute a commercial dive for the certification class trained for.”
She informed the audience that in addition to personal qualities, a person must succeed on theoretical and practical tests.
Mhlophe also guided the group through the procedure for registering licenses for both individual divers and commercial diving contractors, organizations, and schools.
The workshop was also introduced to a number of new regulations that cover the duties and logistical needs in diving operations.
Today at the University of Cape Town in the Western Cape (John Day LT2 in the John Day Building, University Ave North, UCT, Upper Campus, Rondebosch), will be the second commercial diving workshop.
Additionally, a workshop hosted by the South African Association for Marine Biological Research will take place on July 18 at uShaka Marine in Durban (SAAMBR).