Diver Fact Sheet


1. Pre-employment matters 

Diving is physically and mentally demanding. Good health is absolutely essential. At the earliest possible stage and before committing yourself to diver training you need to complete a medical questionnaire to see if there is anything in your medical history that might preclude you from a career in diving. Complete this questionnaire and then arrange for your own GP to confirm your medical history. Your GP may simply confirm your medical history from your notes and is entitled to charge you a fee for this service and the details should be discussed beforehand. Both your GP and the candidate diver are required to sign that the information supplied on the health questionnaire is accurate and up to date. You can access the medical questionnaire from the HSE Diving Information Website here or from the Diving Administration Team, during normal office hours on 0131 247 2011 or 0131 247 2011 2124. This medical questionnaire and the consequent initial medical examination by an AMED should be completed before you commit yourself to the significant cost of undertaking diver training. 

2. Existing diver health issues 

If you have been unable to work as a diver due to any illness or injury lasting more than 14 days or the illness or injury relates to heart, lung, neurological or ENT problems including neurological and other decompression illness you are required to present yourself to a medical examiner of divers (AMED) for re-examination and assessment of your fitness to return to work. This is a specific examination related to the possible effects of your illness or injury on diving safety and ability to work as a diver. This examination does not replace the requirement for an annual medical examination. 

3. Certificate of Medical Fitness to Dive (MA2) 

You must bring the previous MA2 documentation to the AMED at your next annual medical. The AMED will give you the top (white) copy of MA2 at the end of the medical. The AMED is obliged to review the previous MA2 for the purposes of comparison. The AMED is therefore entitled to refuse to undertake a HSE Medical if you do not produce the last MA2 documentation on the date of your annual medical. HSE Diving Inspectors may also ask to see MA2 documentation to ensure that you are medically cleared to dive. 

4. Appeals 

If you are found unfit to dive or fit but with restrictions the AMED should explain to you the reasons for this finding, taking into account the advice contained in HSE’s medical examination and assessment of divers (MA1). In some cases the AMED may also have consulted with a diving medical specialist, HSE Diving Medical Adviser or other specialist before deciding upon your fitness to dive. Under these circumstances you are entitled to appeal to the HSE against the decision of the AMED. You must apply in writing to HSE within 28 days to: EMAS\HSE, Diving Medical Adviser, Belford House, 59 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3UE. 

Normally a diving medical specialist is consulted. HSE is responsible for funding the cost of the appeal but is not responsible for any attendant travel and accommodation costs that you incur because of the appeal. In addition, experience has shown that appeals can take a considerable length of time to be concluded. 

Please note that not all appeals will automatically be accepted; if you are found unfit to dive due to a condition that is clearly contraindicated in MA1 for commercial diving (eg. history of epilepsy) then the appeal application is unlikely to be progressed.

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