Welcome to the December edition of Making Waves, rounding off what has been tumultuous year for us all. Despite this, I am pleased to report plenty of successes and progress in 2020:
We maintained full business continuity during all COVID lockdowns, and in fact the Secretariat has been working fully remotely since 13 March. The IT systems have worked very well and there has been no interruption in service to our Members. Our committee work has continued as planned, the document reviews and developments as planned, and our seminars and regional events have all taken place in the virtual format.
Our response to the COVID pandemic started in January and we have been extremely active in this area. Our early work concentrated on the development and sharing of good practice amongst our Members. This then developed into a three-tier strategy of lobbying at the international level at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO); then at national level with lobbying over 50 governments with offshore production operations; and finally at a direct intervention level in assisting mercy repatriation efforts with crews stuck in Ghana, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia.
In the regulatory sphere our work within the IMO has continued with notable successes influencing the Industrial Personnel Code and our ongoing efforts of the complete revision to the Diving Code. Other important work includes our involvement with offshore lifting appliances within SOLAS, the climate change agenda and GHG emission metrics, and the 0.5% sulphur cap for fuel. In the USA we obtained recognition from the US Coast Guard for diving systems inspections, and continued our long running work associated with the Jones Act to keep the Gulf of Mexico and the promising offshore wind energy market open for business.
On the technical front, we have successfully maintained our document library, with regular revisions and new additions to industry best practice in several areas. In particular, the Code of Practice for Pipeline and Umbilical Installation Systems, which takes a practical approach to equipment design factors without introducing additional risk to the industry. Our efforts to standardise practices across industry has continued with two important new documents spanning both the oil and gas and wind energy markets. These cover Guidelines for Walk to Work Operations, and Basic Safety Training Requirements for Vessel Personnel in the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector. Our active engagement with the International Diving Industry Forum has continued to good effect and our CPD programme has been highly successful with over 1,000 registered users during 2020.
Good progress has been made with our Environmental Sustainability strategy in developing our roadmap of key deliverables and towards developing our Member Code of Environmental Sustainability Practice, which will be completed in 2021.
Finally, despite all the business and social disruptions caused by COVID, we have continued without interruption our quest and mission of Improving Performance in the Marine Contracting Industry.
We wish all our Members a much-improved market in 2021, and as always, let’s all stay safe and healthy.
Allen Leatt, CEO