The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to many industries, and the dive industry is no exception. With travel restrictions and lockdowns in place, many dive shops have struggled to retain experienced staff, and the availability of pools for training has been limited. However, now that mandates have eased and travel has become less restrictive, people are eager to get back into the water. Despite this positive development, the dive industry is facing new risks and challenges that must be addressed.
New Challenges in the Dive Industry
The pandemic has led to an increase in obesity and sedentary lifestyles, which can negatively impact the dive industry. Diving is a sport that requires physical and mental fitness, as well as repetitive training to ensure safety. With disruptions to daily life caused by the pandemic, many divers may not be as physically fit as they were a year ago. The Center for Disease Control reports an increase in obesity in North America, which could further exacerbate the issue. To ensure the safety of all involved, dive businesses need to address this challenge by properly screening clients for fitness.
The dive industry is also facing an increase in fatalities and bodily injuries, which has caught the attention of aggressive plaintiff attorneys. Poor paperwork, improperly filled-out waivers, and injured divers who should not have been diving in the first place can lead to litigation. As a dive industry member, it is essential to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself and your business.
Knowledge is Key to Protecting Your Business
As an insurance intermediary, we see a lot of dive accident reports, and many accidents are happening to participants over the age of 55 with a BMI above 30%. Other accidents are occurring to those with contraindications to diving, which are not being reported adequately, or followed up sufficiently on medical signoffs. Attorneys are aware of this and know what to look for. Knowledge of the situation is critical in protecting your business.
Taking Steps to Manage Risks
To mitigate these risks, dive businesses must ensure that they are screening clients for fitness in a respectful but prudent way. Additionally, they need to ensure that they are keeping up-to-date records and medical sign-offs in their files. Staff members should be trained to identify clients who may be at higher risk for accidents and follow strict training protocols.
Conclusion: Managing Risks and Ensuring Safety in the Dive Industry
High ratios of instructors to participants and strict adherence to training protocols are essential to managing risks. The pricing stability and availability of insurance products depend on operators preventing accidents proactively. With awareness and proactive measures, you can protect your business and manage risks effectively. Stay informed and take steps to ensure the safety of your clients and staff. With the right precautions, the dive industry can continue to thrive in the years to come.