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Scuba Diving Health & Safety Policy

Category Health and Safety
Type Policy
Approved by Vice Chancellor, November 2003
Date Policy Took Effect 1 November 2003
Last Approved Revision 28 August 2017
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Officer Head, Health and Safety Compliance
Review Date 28 August 2022


To provide a safe operating environment to protect the safety of workers, students and volunteers involved with SCUBA diving.

Organisational Scope

All situations where SCUBA diving is undertaken as a part of University of Otago work or course related activities.


DDO Departmental Diving Officer.
HOD Head of Department.
SCUBA Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
UDO University Diving Officer.
University Divers Workers, students and volunteers who are authorised to dive by the UDO.
Vault The University of Otago on-line health and safety management system.


To ensure compliance with the University of Otago Code of Practice for Diving (hereafter the “Code of Practice”), the following responsibilities and accountabilities are defined:

1. Responsibilities of the University Diving Officer (UDO)

(a) Maintain diving code of practice and approval to dive documentation.

(b) Develop and manage a compliance auditing process to occur at least annually.

(c) Manage investigations relating to diving incidents/mishaps and accidents.

(d) Provide reports to the University Health and Safety Manager and notify necessary authorities after any critical diving incident.

(e) Revoke diving certificates of University Divers where deemed necessary to ensure the safety of activities.

(f) Complete test dives for all University Divers prior to any individual undertaking diving for work or study purposes.

2. Responsibilities of Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Services

(a) Ensure Heads Of Departments and Managers have sufficient resources to achieve the standards required by the Code of Practice.

(b) Ensure that University Divers within their division meet the compliance requirements of the Code of Practice.

3. Responsibilities of Heads Of Departments and Managers of Services

(a) Support Departmental Diving Officers (DDO’s) by making available the time and resources required for compliance with the Code of Practice.

(b) Implement the Code of Practice for activities within their department, in conjunction with the DDO.

4. Responsibilities of Departmental Diving Officers

(a) Maintain the departmental University Divers register.

(b) Review and approve diving plans prior to any diving activity commencing.

(c) Refer any concerns regarding divers or dive plans to the University Diving Officer (UDO).

(d) Ensure knowledge of and adherence to the Code of Practice by University Divers.

(e) Maintain a register of University Divers in Vault.

5. Responsibilities of University Divers

(a) Comply with the Code of Practice, DDO and UDO requirements at all times.

(b) Comply with the Code of Practice requirements when operating as a dive supervisor.

(c) Attend all training as required.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
Health and Safety Policy
Code of Practice for Diving
Boating Code of Practice
ACC Partnership Programme

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact Andrea McMillan (Head, Health and Safety Compliance) on or (03) 479 7380.