The FHTA Dive Committee (DiveComm) has invested valuable time with the OHS Inspectorate and Ministry of Employment Productivity and Industrial Relations (MoEPIR) over the last year working with them on, and advising from an industry’s perspective; the OHS roll out of the HASAWA (Diving) Regulations 2006.
This has included progress with them agreeing not to inspect any business until they have gone out to industry with a HASAWA (Diving) Regulations 2006 – Training Package to introduce the legislation to the dive industry.
The Training Package was therefore developed with FHTA DiveComm input and was approved by the NOHSAB Advisory Board in its Feb 2017 meeting to be launched and run in late 2017. This has now commenced with workshops in Labasa, Taveuni and Lautoka already completed. Further workshops in the Central and Eastern Division are also planned soon.
HASAWA (Diving) Regulations 2006 – Training Package
- 1 day course run by MoEPIR or OHS Trainer
- Mainly aimed at Managers, Owners, Directors, OHS Reps, OHS Committees and Dive Site Supervisors (ie not ALL dive staff required)
- Includes overview of main legislation HASAWA 1996 and the ERP (and how it affects worker safety responsibilities and entitlements)
- 2017/2018 courses will be at NO CHARGE to dive industry members per our recommendation
- In future years OHS/OHS Trainers will charge for this course
HASAWA (Diving) Regulations 2006 Date
Member background and timeline of the legislation and its implementation:
- Passed in Parliament on 28th September 2006.
- Gazette Notice 13th October 2006 (Legal Notice No. 129)
- Commence enforcement on 6th June 2014
- HASAWA (Diving) Regulations 2006 – Training Package implementation 2017-2018
- Enforcement/registrations during OHS Inspections: January 2018 onwards
By the time the OHS Inspections start in January 2018, we will have had a grace period of 3 years (since 2014 commencement of enforcement) to comply with Licenses, Registrations and compliance regulations. You are therefore urged to participate in the Training Packages when provided.
OHS Inspectorate Trainings Completed
The OHS Inspectorate has now had 15 of its inspectors trained in scuba specific technical areas during August 2017 and are now considered ‘trained’ on:
- Visual Cylinder (VCI)
- Valve Technician Course (VTC)
- Scubapro Resort Course (SRC)
- Compressor Inspector Course
For those who have not seen or do not have a copy of the Regulations, download official docs here:
Amendments, Modifications and Clarifications of Regulations
When the OHS Inspectorate do roll out their inspections and start interpreting the law, we expect there will be some issues – some foreseen and some which will come up as a normal part of commencing with a new regulation. We will deal with these through the correct channels to ensure that application is consistent throughout the country and are already aware of some inconsistencies of application across all regions.
NOTE: If there are ANY changes to be made to the current regulation, the Ministry must resubmit the new document with changes through the Solicitor General’s Office for legal vetting. The Ministry will not do such work for minor changes and we anticipate that any change requests will be bundled up with other changes (like introducing the Australian based law they wanted to do initially) that may not be favourable to the industry. It is therefore recommended that we stick to clarifying the interpretations rather than requesting modifications.
As such, FHTA, MoEPIR and the OHS Inspectorate are planning quarterly meetings during 2018 to ensure we maintain an ongoing dialogue to ease the transition of these Regulations.
Currently Identified Interpretation Issues
The following issues were highlighted at the workshops and FHTA and OHS Inspectorate are addressing them in regards to interpretation:
- Status of the recompression chamber facilities at the CWM Hospital. MoH and MoEPIR are working to ensure a timely resolution to this. Current information is that the tender has been awarded and we await a date for installation.
- The ban imposed by the Ministry of Fisheries on the use of underwater breathing apparatus (UBAs) in the fisheries commercial industry. This is not so much a ban as a refusal to issue exemptions to the law. The law states that UBA not be used for fishing unless you get a Ministerial Exemption and we understand that the Minister is not issuing these.
- Internal mechanism regarding the registration and licensing of dive personnel; dive master, assistant dive instructor and dive instructors. This is being fine-tuned by OHS and FHTA will work with them to ensure simplicity.
- Requirements for medical certification of dive personnel and visitors. This has been clarified and only workers need the specified medical certificate. Overseas visitors will continue to sign the standard form stating they are medically fit. If they are not, THEN only do they need to see a doctor.
- Requirements for registration and inspection of dive equipment and associated inspection fees. This is in line with the standard OHS Inspection fees schedule.
Comments/Feedback Through Industry Body, FHTA
We ask that any member who has issues, information, concerns or recommendations on the HASAWA (Diving) Regulations 2006, route these through our tourism diving industry body FHTA DiveComm. We will be addressing the OHS Inspectorate and the MoEPIR directly to discuss the application and interpretation of the Regulations once the workshops have been completed.
We understand that there are concerns about Clause 10 Medical Certificates. The intent of this is for dive professionals only and not for every diver and this will be confirmed with the OHS Inspectorate and the Ministry of Labour.
We look forward to working with everyone to comply with the Laws of Fiji with the least cost and minimum disruption as possible to the industry.
Chief Executive Officer
Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association