The Divers Alert Network’s Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) program has undergone testing with dive operators on Catalina Island and Florida’s Key Largo. The program is an adaptation of ones used in many industries including aviation and healthcare.
HIRA programs aim to train stakeholders how to asses the risks and take steps to mitigate them across all aspects of the business regardless of the size. The programs follow established protocols and procedures by organizations such as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle:
“Research shows that businesses with risk mitigation plans can get back to normal operations faster and with fewer losses than those that don’t,… DAN’s new HIRA program guides dive operations through a variety of potential hazards ranging from customer health and safety to workplace compliance and liability management and helps them fill any gaps in how they prepare for — and recover from — emergencies.”
The program is a development of a test DAN ran in 2017 at Key Largo. After the test, DAN revised and developed the program before conducting a final test in Catalina Island in May 2018. The program addresses many areas of the dive business, including customer training, first aid procedures, air quality testing and more.
Acknowledging the contribution industry to the development of its program, Ziefle stated:
“We want to thank everyone who assisted with these trials and who worked with us to test and fine-tune our new HIRA program. Without real-world context, all the data in the world is useless — we needed help from our members and local dive communities to ensure the program is relevant and applicable to what dive operators face on a daily basis….Everyone delivered, giving our risk mitigation staff the chance to implement and test the program and make improvements. It’s because of engagement like this that DAN’s HIRA program delivers on its promise to enhance not only dive professionals’ safety, but the safety of the communities they serve as well. We’re very excited to introduce this program to the industry.”