A DOWNTURN IN BUSINESS IS NEVER WELCOME, but it can present opportunities. For one, it offers a chance to address important but lower-priority aspects of your operation. Among the aspects of running a dive business that matter but don’t always rise to the top of the to-do list are occupational health and safety issues. Taking the time to consider, identify and address any concerns in this area can make a positive impact on your future business. Below are a few considerations to take into account when assessing and improving your business’s occupational health and safety in the classroom.


A noisy classroom is not conducive to learning. Make sure your students have a quiet environment in which to concentrate, especially when they are learning skills that are vital to keeping themselves and others safe in the water. Noise can come from many sources in a dive shop, including the compressor, venting gases, cylinder filling, traffic, and human interaction. Ideally, the noise level in the classroom should be kept to around 65 decibels when no one is talking and all appliances are off. For reference, a wall- unit air conditioner is around 60 decibels, and normal conversation is around 65.

  1. Start by measuring the noise level in the classroom with your equipment operating as normal. If you don’t have a sound level monitor or decibel meter, download an app on your phone or tablet. There are several available including Decibel X: dB Sound Level Meter, NIOSH Sound Level Meter, and Decibel X PRO: dBA Noise Meter.
  2. Use the following chart to measure the noise level in your classroom. Document your measurement for future refence.
  3. If the noise level in your classroom measures higher than 65, here are a few changes that might make a difference: Remove noisy equipment such as a refrigerator or a loud fish-tank pump.
  4. Ensure that classroom sessions are conducted when compressors and other machinery are not running. Place sound-dampening materials such as curtains or sound-absorbing panels between the classroom and the sources of the noise.
  5. Post signs asking people to not congregate outside the classroom.
  6. Change out windows or install block-out panels to reduce outside road noise.
Quiet rooms (e.g. sleeping areas) 40 Indefinite
Classrooms, retail areas, offices 65 Eventual fatigue
Compressor, filling and blending areas 85 8 hours
Large, unsilenced compressors 95 1 hour
Noisy areas (e.g., generator areas) 100 15 minutes
Safety valves, venting HP lines 110 1.5 minutes
Unacceptably noisy areas 120 9 seconds


Proper lighting is important for learning, even if electronic learning materials are being used. Improper lighting can cause eye strain, headaches, and glare on screens, all of which infringe on students’ ability to concentrate and effectively learn. Lighting is measured in lux and can be measured with an inexpensive meter or phone app, although apps are not as accurate. Ideally, classrooms should be kept at 250 – 500 lux. If your classroom seems dim, try brightening it up by painting the walls a lighter color, taking steps to reduce glare, and cleaning walls or surfaces.

  1. As with noise, begin by measuring the lighting levels in the classroom under normal learning conditions. If you don’t own a light meter, you can download a mobile app such as Lux Light Meter Pro or Lumu Light Meter.
  2. Use the following chart to determine the lighting level in your classroom. Document your measurement for future refence.
  3. If the lighting in the classroom falls below the suggested range, you can add natural light by unblocking or installing windows or skylights, adding low-energy light fixtures, painting the classroom with a lighter color or using light-deflecting panels to better utilize natural or existing light.
  4. If the room is brighter than recommended, you can block out windows or hang light-blocking curtains, reduce the intensity of room lighting by using lower-lux lamps or installing dimmer switches, or paint a wall or surface that is reflecting too much light a darker color.
Classrooms 200 LUX 200 – 500
Retail shops 100 lux 100 –150
Offices 300 lux 300 –500
Compressor, filling and blending areas 200 lux 200 –500
Storage rooms 150 lux 150 –500
Instrument workshops 250 lux 250 –500
Precision work areas 750 lux 750 –1,500
Changing rooms 100 lux 100 –150
Equipment washing areas 100 lux 100 –150
Halls (passages) 75 lux 75 –100
Video labs 100 lux 100 –150
Photo labs 150 lux 150 –200

DAN Customer Service

Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

+1 (919) 684-2948

+1 (800) 446-2671

Fax: +1 (919) 490-6630


24/7 Emergency Hotline

In event of a dive accident or injury, call local EMS first, then call DAN.

24/7 Emergency Hotline:

+1 (919) 684-9111

(Collect calls accepted)

DAN must arrange transportation for covered emergency medical evacuation fees to be paid.

Medical Information Line

Get answers to your nonemergency health and diving questions.

Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

+1 (919) 684-2948, Option 4

Online: Ask A Medic

(Allow 24-48 hours for a response.)