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Record number of safety incidents shared by IMCA members

Published on 15 December 2014

Supplying information on safety incidents and thus contributing to safety flashes issued by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), is an important tool information and knowledge sharing tool. This year (2014) has seen a record number of safety incidents (over a hundred) issued in 19 flashes to members around the world.

“This is a case of ‘more is good’,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler.”We want to encourage members to share safety incidents, it is a truism that ‘knowledge is power’ and knowing how others have dealt with hazardous situations helps fellow members. Of course we aim for the ‘holy grail’ of ‘zero incidents’, but incidents do happen, and we want to encourage all members to share them. Naturally all incidents are anonymised, and approved by the company concerned before being issued to the global membership of over a thousand companies in more than 60 countries.

“Providing a new user-friendly online submission template has made it easier to identify potential hazards, and thus help to avoid incidents being repeated.”

The template is at, and any member, or non-member, can submit material to IMCA at [email protected]

New DP Safety Flash

IMCA has just published DP Safety Flash 01/14 which shows the value of safety flashes. This relates to three gyro compasses connected to a DP (dynamic positioning) system that had a’heading freeze’ within five minutes of time. With all three gyros out of service, the drill ship’s DP model took over; 34 minutes later all gyros had been rebooted and were online in the DP system. The gyros were of a modern fibreer optic style.

The maximum excursion of the vessel position was 20 metres over 34 minutes. Calm weather was benign enough to allow accurate model control of the drilling vessel for 34 minutes. The drill ship was connected to the wellhead while tripping into hole when the incident occurred, but emergency disconnect was not required.

This safety flash, like all of them, looks at”what went wrong?”,”what were the causes of the incident?”,”what lesson were learned?” and”action” – in this case”Deep root cause analysis is to be conducted, and a step change to installed equipment is ongoing.”