A diving contractor from Johnstone, Renfrewshire, has been fined for safety failings in operations for shellfish diving.
Campbell Sheriff Court heard how Douglas Cameron, a diving contractor on board the vessel ‘Ceanothus’ was collecting razor clams using electric fishing methods in Gigha Sound, near the island of Gigha, Argyll.
The use of electrical fishing equipment is not a specific offence under the Diving at Work Regulations but it forms part of the charge brought by the crown office as the risks to the diver arising from this method of fishing were not assessed.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 4 September 2014 found that the diving operations were not planned, managed or conducted in a safe manner.
Cameron Douglas, of Ritchie Park, Johnstone, Renfrewshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 of the Diving at Work Regulations 1997, and was fined £4,000.
After the hearing HSE inspector Alan Keith said: “Diving is regarded as a hazardous occupation and it is absolutely vital that all diving operations are planned, managed and conducted in a safe manner.
“In the past, there have been diving fatalities in the shellfish diving industry so it is imperative that dive contractors ensure that divers they employ are suitably qualified, fit to dive and are provided with suitable and sufficient equipment to carry out the dive as safely as possible.”
For further information on Diving at work visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/diving/
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk