In June 1992 the Diving Operations at Work (Amendment) Regulations 1992 (1992 no. 608) came into force. They required:

  • Diving contractors to register with HSE

  • Clients to use only registered Diving contractors for Diving operations.

  • Diving operations undertaken in the offshore sector to be notified to HSE.

This paper considers the significance to HSE of the information provided by the registration process, and describes some enforcement initiatives of the Field Operations Division of HSE In response both to that information and to the current fatal accident profile of the inshore Diving industry\.


The Diving Operations at Work Regulations 1981, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and other relevant statutory provisions are enforced in relation to the Diving Industry by HSE and local authorities. HSE undertakes the vast majority of This enforcement responsibility with local authorities for the most part dealing only with recreational establishments where there may be some training of amateur sports divers. Within HSE the Field Operations Division (FOD) deal with inshore Diving and the Offshore Safety Division (OSD) with Diving offshore. There are a few minor exceptions to this general rule but these need not be considered here.

This paper concentrates on the inshore sector.

Registration with HSE

Schedule 1A of the 1992 Amendment regulations prescribes the information that contractors must supply to HSE In order to register. The information covers straight forward details such as the contractor's address as well as information about potentla1 dive sites and the type of work normally undertaken. HSE has to acknowledge receipt of This information for registration to be effective and contractors must re-register on an annual basis. In order to facilitate provision by contractors of the prescribed information HSE produced a standard form (FOD RDC1) for the purpose. The information is transferred to a computer database overseen by the Diving Contractors Registration Unit in the FOD HQ at Bootle.

It is important to recognize that the requirement for contractors to register with HSE does not constitute a licensing process. Acknowledgement of the registration information whilst confirming registration and thus allowing the contractor to undertake diving operations does not imply that the contractor has exceeded a quality threshold. HSE has traditionally avoided such impositions on industry except In those situations where the risks were deemed particularly severe eg at nuclear power stations, or in the manufacture of explosives. The purpose of registration is to provide HSE with a bedrock of data about the Diving industry so as to Inform policy makers at national level and more importantly to facilitate enforcement by HSE Inspectors at local level. There is no doubt that there is widespread misunderstanding of This issue within the industry and it is for this reason that it is being emphasised so early in the paper.

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