Emergency Planning: Why Do We Need It?
|By Francois Burman, Pr. Eng, MSc.
The needs of a dive business can be distilled into five areas:
- protecting its staff, clients and the public from injuries
- protecting its equipment and facilities, such as dive gear, boats, vehicles and the dive center itself avoiding exposure to liability risks
- considering the environmental impact —
- especially the long-term impact — on the diving attraction, local communities and wildlife
- retaining its clients, business and sources of income.
Ensuring a plan is effective requires a more detailed assessment and an understanding of what actions may be necessary. We start with a vulnerability assessment in which we consider the probable hazards and then decide which of these are real and which are purely hypothetical. To help decide which hazards are important, we use the following simple risk-assessment tool, as described in the DAN Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) program:
- How likely is exposure to the hazard (probability)?
- How often will there be exposure to this hazard (frequency)?
- What is the likely outcome of an accident (severity)?
To apply the tool, we must identify the hazards in need of assessment. The principal areas we review are the following:
- environment (in and out the water),
- diving risks,
- staff exposures,
- breathing gases,
Once the various hazards and their probability, frequency and severity are established, we should be able to respond immediately and without any doubt about what to do. First, we should mitigate the initial situation:
- Extinguish, contain, control and react appropriately.
- We must communicate the situation to rapidly obtain assistance.
- We need to take care of any injured people.
- Emergency equipment needs to be readily available and functional.
- We must follow the plan, react appropriately and not overthink our actions.
Standard operating procedures, when followed, promote avoidance of emergencies.
Checklists provide structured reactions, reduce the need to think, ensure consistency in actions taken and assist in training staff.
Reporting documents provide excellent learning opportunities and at a minimum reduce liability due to the timely recording of events.
Training is the cornerstone of prevention, preparedness and competence.
Practice through realistic and frequent drills will enable you to react appropriately, rapidly and calmly.
© Alert Diver — Q1 Winter 2018
Demo DiversCape Marine Research and Diver DevelopmentKaboom!....The Big Oxygen Safety IssueTerrific Freedive Mode“LIGHTS, Film, Action!”Scuba Nudi ClothingDive into Freedive InstructionThe Benefits of Being BaldThe Inhaca Ocean Alliance.Special Forces DiverToughing It Out Is DangerousWhat Dive Computers Don\'t Know | PART 2
Avoid Diving With EarplugsKwaZulu Natal shipwrecks: The ProduceDive in the Fast Lane with DPVsLearning from Success. Learning from MistakeLiability in ContextUnderwater Crime Scene InvestigatorsTravel Smarter: Personal Safety While TravelingDive Boat Etiquette – From Yachts to rubber ducksThe Parting ShotMismatched Scuba Valves to Cylinder OutletsPredive Warm-UpWeight loss for diversTara Panton's Cape NudibranchsRESEARCHER PROFILE: Petar Denoble: Solving practical issues for diversMonitoring Cardiac Health in Scuba Divers
UNCERTAINTY AFTER DIVING: Case Report and Recommendations #1.UNCERTAINTY AFTER DIVING: Case Report and Recommendations #2UNCERTAINTY AFTER DIVING: Case Report and Recommendations #3UNCERTAINTY AFTER DIVING: Case Report and Recommendations #4DIVERS LOSING ACCESS TO EMERGENCY CAREPreventing Breathing gas Contamination
When Should the Rescue Begin?Celebrating Young and Old in Turks and CaicosScuba Cylinder RundownChasing WeedsUnderwater Smartphone PhotographyAir and a SpareUnderwater Photographer: Fred BuyleBuilding Better BalanceLow-Visibility DivingMore Than a Sore ShoulderNot Only for DivingLaryngospasm and AnxietyPulmonary Hypertension and DivingTitan Meets TitanicPool Operation: Know Before you GoThe Argonaut Octopus and the jellyfishShort but Beautiful Lives