Diving At Work Regulations 1997 and Commercial Operations Involving ‘Swimmers’
04 January 2022
(This replaces Local Notice to Mariners 11 of 2016 which is hereby cancelled)
Notice is hereby given that all operations involving commercial divers or swimmers within the limits of Cowes Harbour must be approved by the Harbour Office or relevant Marina Manager prior to the operation commencing. All operations involving commercial divers must meet the requirements of the Diving at Work Regulations 1997.
Diving contractors, Masters and Agents must ensure that a ‘Diving Request’ is completed and forwarded to the relevant office at least 24 hours before the operation. Approval must have been received and a radio check completed with call sign ‘HM1 on VHF Ch69’ for activities outside of the confines of a marina or on Ch80 with the relevant marina office immediately before the diving operation commences and a diver enters the water.
For the purpose of this Notice a ‘swimmer’ is defined as a person who enters the water to undertake a commercial operation within the Port area and who is not subject to the requirements of the Diving at Work Regulations 1997.
All Masters, Contractors and Agents must ensure that a written Safe System of Work, with appropriate Risk Assessments, is submitted to the appropriate office prior to commencing any commercial operation involving ‘swimmers’.
As a minimum, issues to be considered within the Risk Assessments are to include, but not be limited to:
• Scope of the task – boat scrubbing, surface work on piles, quay walls, outfalls, in the surf zone, on buoys etc.
• Team size – sufficient, qualified, competent, prepared etc.
• Equipment involved – wet suit or coveralls, foot protection, gloves, head protection, harness, lifeline, weight belt, knife, light, tools for the job etc.
• Operational elements – daylight only, access to the water, environmental effects, visibility, lookout, radio checks etc.
• Emergency measures – standby swimmer, recovery of injured personnel, availability of rescue craft, nearest medical facility, road transport availability etc.
In all cases, communications on the appropriate channel (CH69 or Ch80) must be in place and must be checked with the relevant office before operations commence. A constant listening watch must be maintained throughout all stages of the operation.
A ‘Diving or swimming’ request form can be downloaded from the Cowes Harbour Commission website here: www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/publications. The completed form must be submitted to the Harbour Office and approved prior to any diving or swimming operation taking place.
This local notice to mariners will remain in until further notice.