Date: March 18th, 2022.
The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) wishes to reassure the diving industry and the public that it remains committed to the development of standards that promote public and industrial welfare, health and safety, in accordance with its mandate under the Standards Act (No. 18 of 1997).
TTBS develops and issues two types of national standards, Voluntary Standards and Compulsory Standards.
Voluntary standards provide guidance on best practices that industry stakeholders can use at their own discretion to support their operations. These national standards include specifications, codes of practices, guidelines and test methods. The process of developing voluntary standards involves seeking input from knowledgeable stakeholders and experts, as well as consensus from a wide cross-section of parties involved in the relevant fields to ensure that the standards are aligned with international best practices and also support the local industry.
Compulsory Standards are used by TTBS to regulate goods to ensure quality, environmental protection, public and industrial welfare, safety and health as outlined in the Standards Act. Its mandate however excludes food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. Under the Standards Act, compliance with the requirements of Compulsory Standards is mandatory for all goods from relevant manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors that fall under the scope of the standard and this is enforced by the TTBS using a combination of inspection, product certification and testing activities, as necessary.
TTBS advises that it does not have any direct responsibility for regulating Occupational Safety and Health. TTBS supports this vital area through the development of voluntary standards which can help to establish safe work environments and manage risks to prevent injuries and ill-health.
We encourage the diving industry to utilise available voluntary national standards including:
- TTS/ISO 45001:2020, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements with Guidance for Use
- TTS 620:2008, Occupational Safety and Health Risk Assessment – Requirements
- TTS 621:2007, Requirements for Contractor Safety Management System
- TTS 539:1997, Code of practice for safety in commercial diving operations
- TTS/CSA Z275.5:2010, Occupational Diver Training – Specification
TTBS has made several attempts to revise TTS 539 since 2007, however consensus could not be reached among industry stakeholders participating in the standards development process. TTBS emphasizes that notwithstanding the above, the existing standard is a useful guide for the diving industry in promoting safety in diving operations, but being voluntary, its revision will not guarantee its use or any other similar code, by the industry. The revision of the existing diving standards remains a priority for TTBS. As such, TTBS encourages stakeholders in the diving industry to fully cooperate in our standards development process and provide meaningful feedback during the Public Comment period. In the meantime, the existing standard continues to be pertinent to the Diving Industry and can help to manage the risks associated with commercial diving.
TTBS believes that through continued communication with stakeholders in the diving industry, we can help in addressing the critical issues of industrial welfare, safety and health.
For further information, please contact:
Marketing Unit, TTBS
Tel: 662-8827 Ext: 2260