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Snorkelling Guideline

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Guideline provides additional information regarding the The University of Queensland's requirements for snorkelling and breath-hold diving being undertaken by workers and undergraduate students. The purpose is to provide advice to ensure the health, safety and well-being of snorkellers and compliance with relevant legislative requirements.

(2) This Guideline applies to all workers participating in snorkelling and breath-hold diving and staff including Supervisors and Senior Officers who have responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of the workers and those exposed to their activities.

(3) The objective of this Guideline is to provide information for duty holders where UQ is not the sole person in charge of a business or undertaking (PCBU).

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Section 2 - Snorkelling Operations where UQ is not the Sole PCBU

Snorkelling Operations from UQ Owned Vessels or Sites which Involve no UQ Personnel

(4) Prior to snorkelling operations commencing, UQ should ensure that the PCBU conducting the snorkelling work is undertaking the work in compliance with their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld).

(5) UQ may demonstrate reasonable diligence by requesting a letter of authority to dive from the PCBU or an officer of the PCBU stating that:

  1. the PCBU holds evidence that persons undertaking snorkelling work are competent to do the proposed work as per the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld);
  2. a person has been appointed as the snorkel supervisor;
  3. a snorkel plan and risk assessment have been prepared; and
  4. an effective mechanism to ensure no person is left behind is implemented.

(6) Where the PCBU has a snorkelling procedures manual, snorkelling should be conducted as per the manual's procedures or guidelines.

(7) The PCBU and its workers shall comply with any reasonable request made by UQ in its capacity as the vessel owner.

Snorkelling Operations from UQ Owned Vessels or Sites where a UQ Worker is Acting as the Snorkel Lookout

(8) In addition to the requirements of clauses 4-7 above, UQ should ensure that:

  1. the PCBU engages the snorkel lookout in accordance with the Snorkelling Procedure; and
  2. the snorkel guides and snorkel supervisor understand and are competent to perform their role in an emergency.

(9) The PCBU and its workers shall comply with any reasonable request made by UQ in its capacity as the vessel owner.

Snorkelling Operations with Other PCBUs where UQ Workers are Acting as Snorkellers Only

(10) Where a UQ worker is acting as a snorkeller, the supervisor should ensure that:

  1. a competent person has been appointed to supervise the snorkelling;
  2. UQ workers undertaking snorkelling are competent to do so as per section 4 of the Snorkelling Procedure;
  3. the other PCBU has an effective risk management system for the conduct of snorkelling operations; and 
  4. the PCBU has an effective emergency plan and provide sufficient competent personnel to effectively respond to an emergency.

(11) Where UQ and non-UQ snorkellers are working in the same vicinity in unrelated tasks, the supervisor should ensure that:

  1. all teams' risk assessments consider the risk that each task might present to other persons; and
  2. the other PCBU provides sufficient information to comply with clauses 4-9 above (if relevant).
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Section 3 - Appendix

Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Breath-hold diving Snorkelling where the worker is submerged to an extent where they are unable to breathe for the duration of the dive.
Relevant legislation Refers collectively to all laws associated with the work or activity being undertaken, the relevant work health and safety laws of Queensland and those associated with the local jurisdiction where the work is being undertaken. Legislation in this context includes Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and relevant standards – e.g. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), Biosecurity Act 2015 (C’th), Occupational Diving Work Code of Practice 2005 (Qld)
Senior Officers The Senior Executives, Executive Deans, Heads of School and Directors of Institutes and major centres and the Directors of central services and administrative divisions.
Snorkelling Swimming in any body of water other than a swimming pool using a mask and/or snorkel without the use of other breathing apparatus.
Supervisor Means the person responsible for day to day supervision of a staff member or other person so designated by the University (see the University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2021-2026, or as amended or replaced).
Workers Staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors of The University of Queensland.