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Written by
on 30 June 2011


Health and Safety services help you to provide safe equipment, training and procedures for all of your employees. This helps not only to protect your workers; it also means you are running a business in a manner which will satisfy the inspections of the Health and Safety Executive.

A marine company based in Falmouth was subjected to a spot inspection back in May 2010 was found to have several failings.  The inspectors who were responsible for the inspection discovered multiple issues with the health and safety and decided to stop all dives immediately.  The owner of the marine company, Kenneth Dunstan was therefore given a Prohibition notice which was his second after other issues arrived back in 2004.

HSE Spot Inspection

Health and safety Advisers are there to help you make sure that you are staying within the law and following the regulations which are in place to ensure the safety of the workers, and the public.  When the inspectors surprised Mr Dunnstan with an inspection it was soon apparent that despite his past record with the HSE, Mr Dunnstan had failed once again to create and maintain a safe working environment.

The inspectors found Benjamin Taffinder was working on a dive in which he was performing maintenance underwater in St Mawes. Mr Taffinder was standing on a vessel with Mr Dunning and two other members of staff. When the inspectors boarded the vessel they made several alarming discoveries.

Working Underwater has Dangers which Require Extra Care

The health and safety inspectors saw that Mr Taffinder was diving using just a simple mouthpiece rather than a mask.  Mr Taffinder was not licensed to be diving for commercial purposes and was not the holder of a certificate to prove he was capable of the job. He was also using a supply of one gas cylinder used to breathe underwater, where two is mandatory in case one of the canisters fails during a dive.   There was no lifeline and no diver ready to assist Mr Taffinder, and no way of the diver communicated once he was under the water.

Plans need to be created before the start of any project, so that the risks can be assessed and all the equipment and methods are evaluated and a course of action decided upon.  Before the dive Mr Dunnstan failed to create a plan and as a result the dive was in breach of several sections of the Diving at Work Regulations of 1997.

Mr Dunnstan faced the magistrate’s court in Turo where he pleaded guilty to breaching four of the regulations as described in the Diving at Work Act. He was given a fine of £2500 for each of the breaches and ordered to pay £2000 in costs.

Health and safety Advisers are able to help you create the correct plans in order to carry out your projects in a safe manner.  Call 0800 1488 677 to speak to the experts at Veritas Health and Safety Consultants and discuss your health and safety planning.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.