Introduction

Learning from near misses is well established in industry and medicine.  To prevent the adverse event, we learn from the 'nearly event' and, by doing so, we reduce future risk.  We think this can apply equally well to diving.   

We have all done things during a dive which have not gone well, perhaps a failure to check equipment, weight ourselves properly, control our ascents, or whatever it might be.  Often the natural response is to breathe a sigh of relief that nothing serious came of it and hide our embarrassment by keeping quiet about what went wrong.  This unresolved event has the potential to produce ongoing anxiety in some individuals which is carried over into future dives.  It also stops us learning from the incident.

A much more useful approach is to use the near miss as an educational opportunity, learn from the event and share this learning with our buddies and colleagues.  This will produce a cycle of improvement where we all become better, safer divers and the likelihood of future serious accidents is incrementally reduced.

Orkney Hyperbaric Trust (OHT) is a charity which runs the hyperbaric chamber in Stromness and works to improve diver safety in both recreational and commercial sectors.  OHT has joined with Heriot Watt University and local diveboat skippers to run this study.  We would like divers visiting Orkney to report any near misses, big or small.  You can do this either by using one of the tablets which will be circulating amongst the dive boats or on-line at ****’***.   

It is important to emphasise that we are not interested in finding fault or attributing blame and the survey can be completed anonymously if you wish.  No one will be identified personally in the analysis.  Instead we are interested to see what types of near misses occur and to promote a constructive way for them to be raised, discussed, and used to make diving safer and more enjoyable.  

Please complete the following questions and tick all that apply in each section.  We would be very grateful if you would complete the free text sections to provide some specific detail about your near-miss.  There is also opportunity - if you wish - to provide contact details so that a researcher can speak to you in person about your experiences and views.  Please be reassured that any contact details you choose to provide are not used to identify individuals in the analysis and are treated in strictest confidence.  

What we would like to do now is ask you about your near miss but before we do let's clarify what we mean.

A near-miss can be anything from a really hazardous 'skin of the teeth' escape from a dangerous situation, right the way through to those incidents where something quite minor yet unplanned happened.  Those things which might make you think 'that was less than ideal'.  All these incidents are educational opportunities to learn:
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