The paper reviews reported accident and decompression sickness figures, legal proceedings and other enforcement matters relating to the UK inshore during industry since 1989 It also outlines changes in legislation and the statutory diver training scheme during that period.


Most of the published work on commercial diving safety in the UK arises from the offshore diving industry. The inshore sector has a less glamorous image and consequently has attracted less attention in the literature in recent times The UK amateur diving organisations are active in producing data on the diving activities of their members however they only deal with the amateur sector This paper is a review of activity by the Health and Safety Executive affecting divers in the inshore/onshore commercial diving sector. This sector covers a lot of non oil and gas related commercial diving in territorial waters and on and The inshore/onshore sector embraces a very wide range of diving operations including fish farm diving around the north and west of Scotland, civil engineering diving on a variety of outfalls, structures, bridges and reservoirs etc both around the coast and on inland sites, the construction and repair of docks, harbours and inland waterways, ship repair and maintenance, operational diving by police and military units, underwater scientific research, commercial diving schools, the commercial instruction of amateur divers and various diving activities in the leisure industry.


The Diving Operations at Work Regulations SI 1981 399 (DOWR) apply equally to the inshore/onshore sector as well as to work offshore i n the North Sea. Likewise The Diving Operations at Work (Amendment) Regulations 1990 apply.


Enforcement of DOWR is by the Field Operations Division of the Health and Safety Executive Its Inspectors are probably best known as "HM Inspectors of Factories" In each of HSEs 20 Area offices, there is at least one Inspector nominated to deal with diving related matters in addition to his other duties Recently HSE has increased the resources allocated to the inspection of inshore diving operations and this should lead to higher levels of compliance with the requirements of DOWR by the Industry.


The reporting of industrial accidents and occupational ill - health throughout all UK industry is governed by the Reporting o f Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR). Whilst all fatal accidents involving commercial divers are thought to be known by HSE it is believed that many injury - only accidents go unreported. As there are no statutory reportable dangerous occurrences involving divers, there is a lack of useful information on diving accidents.


Since January 1989 the number of fatal accidents resulting directly from commercial diving operations has been 6 in 1989, 1 in 1990 and 4 in 1991 to date The corresponding figures for the offshore sector are 0 in 1989, 0 in 1990 and 0 in 1991 to date.

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