Program Spotlight: HIRA Level 1 Assessment

Photo by Stephen Frink

The foundation of the DAN® Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) program, the HIRA Level 1 assessment is “the basic level of awareness and preparedness that any dive operator or professional should have,” says Francois Burman, who led the program’s development.

All DAN professional and business members can use their DAN account to access a free online tool to assess their own dive operation for safety fundamentals. The program is an easy way to identify and correct some of the most common risks — such as carbon monoxide contamination, tank filling, customers who are a hazard to themselves, and lack of written and practiced emergency action plans for situations they could find themselves in  — gathered from DAN’s extensive data. HIRA level I is designed to be flexible to meet the distinct needs of busy dive pros and businesses and help them reduce risk to themselves, staff and customers.

Having basic first aid equipment on hand and training to use it, operating with safe working practices, planning for emergencies such as a lost diver and securing liability insurance indicate that a dive pro or business is already following the tenets of the first level of HIRA. By having a foundation of safe practices, they “can better prevent injuries, keep injuries that do happen from becoming more severe and deal with basic emergencies,” Burman says.

Divers should expect their dive service providers to comply with at least this level of safety, which indicates that a business is serious about reducing injuries and establishing and maintaining a culture of dive safety for themselves and their dive community. The HIRA Level 1 assessment will help dive businesses and professionals identify if they have the proper equipment and training in place, are following the minimum standard operating procedures, and are prepared for the most important of the emergency situations that they might face. Through the appraisal of risk factors and with guidance on how to minimize those risks, the program will help improve safety with the goal of protecting everyone involved.

© Alert Diver — Q2 2019