The recreational diving industry has its fair share of risks. That is why dive businesses must take plenty of precautions to ensure that their operations are as free of safety problems as possible.
This involves hiring only trained and licensed professionals and having customers fill out forms and waivers declaring their physical and mental fitness for the activity. But with the additional risks posed by COVID-19, it is of utmost importance that businesses take the necessary steps to first protect employees. This ensures the business’ longevity through rough or smooth waters.
Are you taking adequate steps to protect your employees during these times? Use this as a guide for your company.
Note Occupational Hazards
Recreational diving comes with unique hazards due to the nature of the activity. You need to properly assess the dangers your team faces daily to respond with effective preventive measures.
Some of these risks are more apparent, such as physical injuries and drowning hazards. However, you also have to note the less obvious possibilities. Divers can experience hearing issues from the pressure as they go deeper underwater. They can also experience skin and eye issues due to exposure to the UV rays of the sun.
Since COVID-19 is unlikely to fully go away, you must also account for risks of virus transmission.
Take into account more typical workplace issues, too. Understaffed businesses usually have more overworked employees, which can drive them to burn out. Also, assess if your workplace culture is fair to every employee or if your practices require a change to fairly accommodate minorities.
When you have pointed out the risks your employees face every day, you can then plan the ways to prevent issues and injuries, such as providing protective equipment and further training and holding educational seminars.
Steps to Protect the Well-being of Dive Staff
A good business is one that invests in its employees. Here are ways to adequately keep your employees safe from the various risks they face on the job.
1. Ensure that they have the right gear.
Since your staff regularly go into the water to teach and assist divers, supply them with gear in good working condition. This involves usual equipment, such as suits, fins, masks and snorkels, oxygen tanks, and the like.
However, you should also consider providing your employees with extra gear as safety precautions. Consider buying dive watches and torches to assist dive guides, especially during night dives when it is harder to keep track of time and map your course.
Do regular checks to repair and replace broken equipment. You must also always orient dive guides on the proper use of equipment, especially newly acquired devices.
2. Provide the right insurance.
Insurance coverage and health benefits are also necessary for your dive staff because they require different protections from employees of a traditional business.
Diving insurance is important because it covers medical expenses should any of your instructors and guides suffer from injuries while out in the water. Also, arrange for employees to have dive liability insurance. This protects employees in the event of injuries or damage sustained by a customer from participating in a dive tour.
Compare the offers of various providers and note coverage limits to get the best policies for your team.
3. Stay updated on natural conditions.
Since dives take place in the ocean, the safety of a dive tour is largely dependent on environmental factors for that day. Keep a record of natural hazards that could affect the overall safety of both your staff and customers.
Monitor the weather and its effect on the waters, including the strength of currents, the temperature, and visibility. You should also note the presence of any potentially dangerous undersea animals, such as sharks and jellyfish.
Always keep a log of your team’s dives to check if there are any concerns that arise, as this allows you to decide if a dive should be rescheduled for a safer time. This also protects your employees should disputes occur with customers.
4. Screen customers prior to dives.
Keeping your customers safe also keeps your employees safe. Have customers fill out health declaration forms to determine if they are physically fit to go on dives. Releasing reminders on your website and social media channels about COVID-19 precautions also helps people prepare for visits to your shop.
Having these documents to check beforehand allows dive guides to accommodate special needs customers may have or advise them on the risks of diving in their condition.
Remember that diving is a unique recreational activity that requires specific safety measures. Protecting employees through workplace provisions and precautions is a must for your business’ success.