DAN Dispatch: DAN Publishes New Risk Assessment Guide

In November 2019 DAN released the second edition of the Risk Assessment Guide for Dive Operators and Dive Professionals. This comprehensive adaptation of best practices from several industrial sectors is a product of collaboration between DAN organizations in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Southern Africa. Proven safety recommendations are adapted to a dive context to help dive business owners and managers, dive leaders and all dive staff to assess and respond to risks.


developed the guide as a part of its Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) safety initiative. It takes information from reputable sources such as training agencies, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Compressed Gas Association and the International Organization for Standardization to create a comprehensive approach that works for the practical, day-to-day operations of a dive business. For each topic, readers can find a table that outlines several items: the category of the risk, the specific risks within that category, the level of the risk on a scale of one to five, and recommendations to mitigate that risk.

While no guide can address every possible risk in the world, DAN's guide is comprehensive, covering most areas that a dive operator or dive professional would face. Topics include the following:
  • staff health and safety
  • customer health and safety
  • staff training and certification
  • in-water training conditions
  • classroom conditions
  • dive shop operations
  • nonboat dive operations
  • dive boat operations
  • compressor and cylinder-filling operations
  • rental equipment storage area
  • equipment repair workshop
  • vehicle safety
  • travel and health advice for customers

The guide can be a reference for anyone who is planning to start a new dive operation or check the safety of or make improvements to an existing one. The topics and recommendations are from general industry-specific knowledge and existing regulations adapted from other documents as well as from extensive visits to dive operations and discussions with their owners, operators and staff.

DAN's goal was to make a resource available to help with the real concerns of people who work every day to keep divers safe. The guide, along with many other DAN publications, is available as a free download at apps.dan.org/publication-library.

© Alert Diver — Q2 2020