Two safety events reported from IMCA include the tragic death of a dive instructor caused by incorrect valve threads on a diving cylinder, and a near miss incident where a diver’s umbilical became trapped. We also share an update from Safe Work Australia on managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace.
WHS Regulations Amendments
Section 4.8 of the Australian Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations were amended earlier this year with the most significant changes related to the General Diving category.
Safe Work Australia published amendments to Section 4.8 of the WHS Regulations in February 2019. While many of the changes are minor in nature and relate to updated versions of relevant Standards, there have been more significant changes regarding the general diving category. Items of note include:
Item  Regulation 171
The title of the regulation has been amended to clarify that a person is required to hold competencies relevant to the type of general diving work to be carried out.
Item  Regulation 171(3)
Wording relating to the recreational diving Standard AS/NZ 4005.2 has been removed as the Standard has been withdrawn by Standards Australia. In the absence of a clear equivalent, the relevant competencies for general diving work are specified in AS/NZS 2815 (Training and certification of occupational divers).
Item  Regulation 171A(2)
This regulation has been omitted due to an inconsistency in wording regarding the knowledge and skill requirement for incidental diving work and limited scientific diving work.
Item  Regulation 173
This regulation omits and replaces the previous regulation 173 and requires that limited scientific diving work is undertaken by those who hold the appropriate training, qualification or experience. The requirement applies to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and non-permanent residents.
More information about the amendments can be found on the Safe Work Australia website.