HIRA 1 For Dive Professionals

Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment

The DAN Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) program was created to help you identify and mitigate the risks associated with running your business. This program is an adaptation of well-established HIRA practices used in aviation, medicine, manufacturing and other fields and by community-safety services worldwide. DAN adapted the program to address the real-world concerns of dive professionals, offering a realistic and pragmatic assessment of risks and strategies to mitigate them.

DAN’s HIRA program is a fundamental element of DAN’s work to cultivate a culture of safety in the diving community; it’s value and usefulness are supported by industry experts as well as the full weight of DAN worldwide.

About HIRA Level 1 for the Dive Pro member

There are three tiers to DAN’s HIRA program: HIRA Level 1, HIRA Level 2 and HIRA Level 3. As a dive professional and DAN Professional Member you can participate at Level 1 and Level 2 (Level 3 is designed for dive operations with multiple staff members). To achieve HIRA Level 1 you must complete this online self-assessment. At this level you are required to have the fundamental training and equipment to manage injuries and action plans to address emergencies.

It’s important to note that participation in the program is based entirely on the honour system. For it to be effective and you to reap the benefits, it is vital that you take it seriously and answer honestly.


Your Instructor


DAN Training
DAN Training

The first step in being prepared to handle a diving emergency is education. DAN courses teach you the first aid steps to care for an injured diver and interact with medical professionals.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is HIRA?
The DAN Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) program is a direct adaption of the institutional safety programs used in healthcare and aerospace. It is designed to teach you to identify risks and hazards that affect you, your staff, your customers and your business before they can cause an injury or loss. The goal of the program is to teach you to evaluate yourself, whether you have been in business for three years or three decades. The program gives you tools to assess your business and address new hazards or risks you may have overlooked and fix commonplace issues that may put you at risk.
Is HIRA just for dive shops?
The DAN Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) program is a direct adaption of the institutional safety programs used in healthcare and aerospace. It is designed to teach you to identify risks and hazards that affect you, your staff, your customers and your business before they can cause an injury or loss. The goal of the program is to teach you to evaluate yourself, whether you have been in business for three years or three decades. The program gives you tools to assess your business and address new hazards or risks you may have overlooked and fix commonplace issues that may put you at risk.
What do I stand to gain from the HIRA program?
Even dive professionals who do not have brick-and-mortar facilities to contend with still face numerous hazards both in and out of the water. Being able to identify problems with operations, liability management and even customers is crucial to professionals' ability to protect themselves and their students and operate successfully. Dive professionals still face risks from teaching, transporting equipment and students, running or organizing charters and many other necessary aspects of a dive business. These concerns are frequently overlooked, and they put dive professionals in harm's way. The DAN HIRA program was designed to remedy that and keep you safe while you teach and protect your students. As a dive operator, the HIRA program will introduce you to entirely new fields of risk management and liability. Organized risk management, as seen in aerospace and healthcare, has not been adopted in the diving industry, even though the same types of lawsuits and losses occur. Risk is everywhere in the dive industry, and it's easy to take that for granted or overlook the hazards. As operators and as people responsible for the safety of our employees and customers, that is something we cannot afford. The DAN HIRA program is one way for us to check ourselves and make sure that we are not taking safety for granted. Absence of accidents does not necessarily indicate safety.
Why is HIRA level 3 not available for instructors?
A HIRA Level 3 is the most significant and in-depth level of the program. It is designed to encompass every facet of business and diving operations, including human resources management, employment law and employee occupational safety, and a suite of business-specific concerns. HIRA 3 can only be fully utilized by those who own or are responsible for a brick-and-mortar operation.
Does the HIRA program cost anything?
The DAN HIRA program was designed to help the dive industry thrive, reduce businesses' losses and prevent injuries. The dive industry cannot survive without its professionals, and improving dive safety cannot be limited to just recreational divers. It is provided at no cost to DAN Pro and Business Members as a proactive way of promoting safety in our communities and keeping our industry thriving.
What does DAN do with the information from HIRA surveys?
The DAN HIRA program was designed to help the dive industry thrive, reduce businesses' losses and prevent injuries. The dive industry cannot survive without its professionals, and improving dive safety cannot be limited to just recreational divers. It is provided at no cost to DAN Pro and Business Members as a proactive way of promoting safety in our communities and keeping our industry thriving.
I've been in business for decades without issues, why should I consider risk mitigation now?
A history of safe and successful operation is a good indication that your business is healthy and well run, but it does not mean that you are not at risk. Risk will always exist, despite all best efforts. DAN's HIRA program allows you to take a second look at your operation with a critical eye and an extensive set of criteria. It's all too easy for even the most experienced among us to become complacent and overlook old hazards or new risks that have arisen. Going through the program may reinforce that your risks are well managed, but the process is at least as valuable as its, result and you'll be able to set a baseline by which you can measure future hazards and operations.
Will HIRA affect my insurance rates?
Whether formalized risk management programs such as the DAN HIRA program will affect your insurance rates directly depends on your insurance provider, but reducing claims individually and as an industry will result in a downward trend in insurance rates and may thus benefit both you and the industry at large. Additionally, the program can help reduce the risk of litigation, or liability in a potential lawsuit.
What are the top risks for most shops?
Every operation is unique, but incident and loss data from across the industry shows that a small number of hazards consistently cause problems. Below are the most common hazards seen in operations of all types: Carbon monoxide contamination Hazardous tank filling procedures Lack of written and practiced emergency action plans Fear of or lack of training in identifying customers who are a hazard to themselves and refusing service
What do the air quality test results mean, and can I perform the test myself?
Air quality tests determine the level of tested contaminants in a gas supply at the time of testing. They are not guarantees of quality air for a period of time or definitive indications that a compressor is functioning appropriately. Performing the test is not difficult but does require care and precision.
What EAP's are most important for my business, and how should I present then in my shop?
EAPs are unique to specific businesses and operations. There are very few EAPs that apply to every operation, and the individual plans must be created with a specific business in mind. Once a HIRA level is completed, you will have a better idea of the risks your operation faces and will be best able to create the EAPs your operation requires.

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