HSE and diving

The "diving industry" can be considered as a number of sectors where people need to go underwater to work. With the exception of the recreational sector, diving is primarily a method of getting to a work site that happens to be underwater.

These pages contain information that may be sector specific as well as that which is of interest to all those involved in diving at work.

Diving is considered to be a high hazard activity. In the 8 year period from 1996/97 to 2003/04 there were 24 fatal accidents. Many of these were members of the public undergoing recreational diving training with paid instructors. However, the risks can be significantly reduced by adhering to regulations and adopting established good practice.

HSE seeks a significant and sustained reduction in fatal and major accidents across all sectors of the diving industry. The following pages explain what HSE is doing to achieve this as well as providing access to a range of information about health and safety in the diving industry.

How we work

HSE is organised into a number of Directorates. The Hazardous Installations Directorate is the operational arm responsible for Major Hazards, including the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.

HSE's Diving Group is part of the Energy Division of the Hazardous Installations Directorate, but the group deals with all diving at work activities - not just offshore.

HSE's Policy Unit supports the Diving Group's work through the formulation of policy and legislation.

Specialist Inspectors from the Diving Group deal with the industry on a day to day basis using a variety of methods. These include:-

  • Inspection
  • Investigation of accidents and incidents
  • Enforcement of statutory requirements
  • Provision of information, guidance and advice
  • Attending industry and trade association events/shows
  • Working with stakeholders to identify, develop and promote good practice
  • Contributing to research & standards development

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Updated 2021-12-14