Skip to content

Major incident prevention at heart of IMCA safety seminar

Published on 19 December 2012

The offshore oil industry has focused its safety efforts over the past 20 to 30 years on preventing incidents and injuries to people, basically preventing slips, trips and falls – the occupational health and safety aspects.

In parallel there have been efforts to prevent major incidents involving multiple fatalities, or asset threatening events, and Macondo and Montara have further emphasised the need to continue to emphasise the need for prevention.

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), in its guidance, has addressed major events through, for example, its work on dynamic positioning (DP) and hence collision avoidance, engine room safety and hence fire and explosion safety, major equipment safety (like cranes), and diving with its associated threats to a whole diving team.

This year IMCA will be putting major incident prevention in marine operations under the conference spotlight at their annual Safety and Environmental Seminar, taking place 19-20 February 2013 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Dubai, UAE.

“Indeed, major incident prevention is the theme of the seminar which includes a wide range of safety, environmental, health and legislation issues, including successful initiatives to improve company/industry performance, current issues and lessons learnt from incidents and all-important near-misses,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “Major incidents will be an underlying theme throughout. IMCA’s role, as evidenced by our information note ‘Preventing Major Incidents in Offshore Operations and Marine Construction’, is very much to help our members globally deliver safe and efficient projects, with care of their assets being fundamental, while never taking our eye off the ‘ball’ of occupational health and safety, which remains vitally important.”

Day by day Following an introduction by Chris Rodricks of SEAMEC, Chairman of IMCA Middle East &amp India Section, David Forsyth, Bibby Offshore and Chairman, IMCA Safety, Environment &amp Legislation (SEL) Committee and Henk van Ketel of Heerema Marine Contractors will deliver a keynote address ‘The relationship between product quality, safety, health & environment – it’s all quality!’.

Following this, the first day of the seminar sees a mixture of presentations, a case study (‘Learning from incidents’), and workshops. There are six presentations ‘Moving beyond an industry average LTIF: can a zero LTI make us incident free?’ (Bo Damsgaard, Maersk Oil Qatar), ‘Major accident events – assessment &amp mitigation in offshore marine construction’ (Francesco Colletti &amp Angelo Spingardi, Saipem); ‘Learning by rejection – lessons in safety case development’ (Sean Kenwery, Technip); ‘Offshore risk assessments’ (Neil Holland, Marex Marine &amp Safety Services); ‘Medical monitoring onboard vessels’ (Stephen Watt &amp David King, Capita); and ‘Health risk assessment’ (Frano Mika, Saipem) while the two workshops look at ‘Is the safety case approach beneficial in identification of major hazard prevention’ and ‘Offshore health management’.

Day Two begins with a welcome by David Forsyth, Bibby Offshore and Chairman of IMCA’s SEL Committee and the local SEL committee representative Darren Male of Fugro, and comprises eight presentations and two workshops. The presentations encompass ‘Environmental considerations in the Caspian’ (Roy Donaldson, Topaz Marine); ‘Injury and fatality prevention during lifeboat drills and maintenance’ (Ibrahim Fahmy, ZADCO); ‘Learning from incidents – from a P&I club perspective’ (Fabien Lerede, Charles Taylor &amp Co Ltd); ‘Enhancement of Abu Dhabi OPCO marine standards: a new era’ (Eisa Al Sarkal, Essam Mehdawi, Mohamed Alshehhi, and Ibrahim Fahmy, ZADCO, OPCO and ADMA); ‘Update on IOSH developments in UAE’ (Robert Cooling, UAE Co-ordinator for IOSH); ‘Working with contractors to achieve world class contractor safety performance’ (Debasish Kakoty &amp CSP Yousef Al-Qallaf, Kuwait Oil Company); ‘Covering the whole spectrum of risk’ (David Jenkins, BHP Billiton); ‘Safety leadership and workforce involvement’; and ‘Safety leadership: from words to action’ (Andre Persad, Zakher Marine Int. Inc).

The workshops on the second day take as their subject ‘Case studies – learning from incidents’ and ‘Safety leadership’ – including an introduction from Henk van Ketel – ‘It’s all about reputation’.

No IMCA event is complete without networking opportunities and, in addition to those at lunch and coffee breaks, there are three planned functions, a poolside reception the evening before the seminar begins, a dinner cruise at the end of the first day, and a closing drinks reception on the second.

Further information on the seminar, including the full programme and registration details, is available at and from [email protected].

Continuing work Earlier in the year IMCA published an important information note on major incident prevention – ‘Preventing Major Incidents in Offshore Operations and Marine Construction’, which provides examples of major incident hazards, which are asset threatening to vessels or can cause multiple crew fatalities. The information note looks at control methods for occupational health and safety and major incidents; and control methods for preventing major incidents.

The association continues to publish guidance that deals with avoiding all incidents, where crane operations, a diving spread damage or anything to do with a ship incident has potential to be a major incident; much of this is also covered in the association’s approach to vessel assurance. There is separate guidance for DP.