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IMCA playing a key role in offshore wind safety

Published on 12 August 2015

The Offshore Renewable Workgroup of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA|) is one of the association’s best attended workgroups, and the level of enthusiasm is not only seeing an increasing number of highly relevant guidance documents being published, but has gained IMCA a seat at the UK HSE GB ‘Offshore Wind Industry Leaders Workshop’ in Bootle in November.

“There is no doubt that the Offshore Renewables Workgroup, under the dynamic chairmanship of Alan MacLeay of Subsea 7/Seaway Heavy Lifting, is extremely proactive and producing some highly relevant documents,” explains Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director and Acting Chief Executive.”It is vital that safety in the offshore renewables industry is regarded as of paramount importance, and – as has been the case in the offshore oil and gas industry – we will be doing all in our power, and this includes relevance guidance documents and competence frameworks, to encourage those involved to strive for the ‘holy grail’ of zero incidents.

“Naturally, competence and training figures high on the list and the new ‘Guidance on competence assurance and assessment: Marine roles for small workboats’ (IMCA C 017), together with the ‘Workboat crew logbook’ was published recently. The guidance document is available for free downloading from the IMCA website for members and non-members alike (hard copies available at £10 for members and £10 for non-members). The logbook costs £15 for members and £18.50 for non-members, and all publications can be ordered from [email protected]

Work in the pipeline

“Other work in the pipeline includes a technical industry study on standardised boat landings, which will be published later this year. There are design differences between boat landings that vary from location to location and subsequently workboat operators are having to undergo costly modifications to their vessels fendering arrangements to accommodate these different boat landing designs.

“IMCA and the workgroup participants have been attempting to develop a consensus on the optimum design and configuration of boat landings for accessing wind turbine foundations from crew transfer vessels (CTV) to standardise the structural design and strength with the aim of reducing operator costs and increase safety of personnel when transferring to these offshore structures.

“This work has in turn shown another area of interest – the design impact forces for the boat landing. IMCA will be working with the Carbon Trust on taking on this issue.”

Other work being undertaken with the offshore renewables industry in mind includes the revision of IMCA M 202 ‘Guidance on the transfer of personnel to and from offshore vessels, and in particular on the vessel-to-vessel supplement. And two other important guidance documents ‘Diving Operations on Wind Farms’; and ‘ROV (remotely operated systems) Operations on a Wind Farm Installation’ are at an early stage of development.

Both documents outline the vision and objectives of such documentation, the background, the high level ‘deliverable’ that is needed to meet the identified objectives; and the stakeholders to be involved. In the case of the diving guidance these are G9, IMCA Renewable Energy Workgroup and HSE.

Further information

Further information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its 1000+ member companies in over 60 countries is available from and [email protected]. The association has LinkedIn and Facebook groups and its Twitter handle is @IMCAint

About IMCA

  • IMCA is an international association with over a thousand members in more than 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
  • IMCA Vision & Strategy. As a result of work and collective input in 2013, IMCA has redefined its stated core purpose to be”Improving performance in the marine contracting industry”. To achieve this goal, IMCA’s Vision & Strategy has been devised with two elements in mind: Core activities and ways of working.
  • IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving code of practice, DP documentation, marine and ROV good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as eCMID, safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.

About the industry IMCA serves

The marine contracting industry plays a vital global role. Its vessels account for 4% of the world’s maritime fleet. Collectively IMCA members employ some 350,000 people and have an annual turnover of around $150bn. They work in all the world’s major offshore areas, delivering large offshore oil and gas and marine renewables projects around the globe that quite literally fuel the global economy.