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The Diving at Work Regulations 1997

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The Diving at Work Regulations 1997 List of acts
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Crown Copyright Acknowledged


1997 No. 2776


The Diving at Work Regulations 1997
Made 24th November 1997   
Laid before Parliament 28th November 1997   
Coming into force 1st April 1998


The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections 15(1), (2), (4)(a), (5)(b) and (9), and 82(3)(a) of, and paragraphs 1(1)(a) and (c), 5, 6(1) and (2), 14, 15(1), 16, and 21(a) of Schedule 3 to, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974[1] and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf and for the purpose of giving effect without modifications to proposals submitted to him by the Health and Safety Commission under section 11(2)(d) of the 1974 Act after the carrying out by the said Commission of consultations in accordance with section 50(3) of that Act, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 and shall come into force on 1st April 1998.


2.  - (1) In these Regulations:

"the 1995 Order" means the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order 1995[2];

"approved qualification" means such qualification as is approved by the Executive under regulation 14;

"certificate of medical fitness to dive" means a certificate issued in accordance with regulation 15;

"diver" means a person at work who dives;

"diving contractor" shall be construed in accordance with regulation 5;

"diving operation" means a diving operation identified in the diving project plan pursuant to regulation 8(3);

"diving operation record" means the record required to be kept in accordance with regulation 6(3)(e);

"diving project" means any activity, made up of one or more diving operations, in which at least one person takes part or will take part as a diver and extends from the time when that person, or the first such person, commences to prepare to dive until that person, or the last such person, has left the water, chamber or other environment in which the dive, or any part of the dive, took place and has completed any requisite decompression procedures, including, where it may be reasonably anticipated that this will be needed, any therapeutic recompression;

"diving project plan" means a document prepared under regulation 6(2)(a) in accordance with regulation 8;

"Executive" means the Health and Safety Executive;

"supervise" means the exercise of direct personal control and "supervising" shall be construed accordingly;

"supervisor" means a person appointed to supervise under regulation 6(2)(b);

"visiting force" has the same meaning as it does for the purposes of any provision of Part I of the Visiting Forces Act 1952[3].

    (2) For the purposes of these Regulations a person "dives" if -

(a) he enters -

(i) water or any other liquid; or

(ii) a chamber in which he is subject to pressure greater than 100 millibars above atmospheric pressure; and

(b) in order to survive in such an environment he breathes in air or other gas at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure;

and references to "a dive" and "dive" shall be construed accordingly;

    (3) Any reference in these Regulations to -

(a) a numbered regulation is a reference to the regulation in these Regulations so numbered; and

(b) a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph so numbered in the regulation in which the reference appears.

Application and extent

3.  - (1) These Regulations shall apply to and in relation to any diving project apart from the following -

(a) the care or treatment of patients in a hospital or other place, not under the control of the diving contractor, where emergency medical treatment is provided or in transit to such hospital or place where the means of transit is provided by or in respect of the hospital or other place;

(b) operations in which members of the armed forces of the Crown or of a visiting force are engaged in warfare or training for warfare;

(c) work carried out in any air which is compressed in order to prevent the ingress of ground water to the works or to stabilise the area around the works.

    (2) These Regulations shall apply to and in relation to the premises and activities outside Great Britain to which sections 1 to 59 and 80 to 82 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 apply by virtue of the 1995 order as they apply within Great Britain.

Duty to ensure compliance with these Regulations

4. Every person who to any extent is responsible for, has control over or is engaged in a diving project or whose acts or omissions could adversely affect the health and safety of persons engaged in such a project, shall take such measures as it is reasonable for a person in his position to take to ensure that these Regulations are complied with.

The diving contractor

5.  - (1) No person at work shall dive in a diving project and no employer shall employ any person in such a project unless there is one person and one person only who is the diving contractor for that project.

    (2) The diving contractor shall, subject to paragraph (3), be the person who -

(a) is the employer of the diver or divers engaged in the diving project; or

(b) dives in the diving project as a self-employed diver.

    (3) Where there is more than one person falling within paragraph (2) those persons shall jointly appoint in writing before the commencement of the diving project one of themselves to act as diving contractor.

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