The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) now has over a thousand member companies involved in offshore, marine and underwater engineering in more than 60 countries, delivering major offshore construction projects from arctic to equatorial waters.
“This is an important ‘membership milestone’ for us, and for our members,” says Chris Charman, the association’s Chief Executive.”Ours is an impressive industry, collectively our 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 major offshore oil and gas and marine renewables projects around the globe that quite literally fuel the global economy.
“The larger our membership, the greater our voice, and the more impact we can have on safe and cost efficient operations. Having said that, we remain vigilant in respect of the quality of those members, and their contribution to the industry and our goals. Our members’ ‘holy grail’ is ‘zero incidents’ and we work with them aiming to achieve this end. Recently published statistics showed that lost time injury frequency rates (LTIFR) had dropped to the lowest figure since we began collecting data, we cannot afford to be complacent and our challenging work programme on behalf of member companies shows how seriously the ‘zero incidents goal is taken.
“Since it was established in 1995, following a merger between AODC (the Association of Offshore Diving Contractors – formed in 1972), and the DPVOA Dynamically Positioned Vessel Owners’ Association – formed in 1990) IMCA has grown steadily, and breaking through the thousand members-mark is a very special day for us.”
The association has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), 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.
The highlight of the year is the Annual Seminar, that this year will be held in London on 19-20 November with its theme”Where Next for the Offshore Marine Industry”, but throughout the year some 70 meetings a year, involving Marine, Diving, ROV, Offshore SurveySafety Environmental & Legislation, and Competence & Training committees; regional sections are also held. All are aimed at improving risk management processes and procedures across every aspect of the offshore construction world. They are conducted all over the world and attended by IMCA members for pooling of knowledge in a totally open and honest way to ensure the offshore marine contracting industry continues to improve.
“It is our members who rigorously drive good practice to stringently manage their risks. So much so that the guidelines we produce with their input and that they work to are often adopted by regulators as a measure of good practice, and embraced by clients as contractual requisites,” adds Chris Charman.
IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP (dynamic positioning) documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID), safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.