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Safe methods of working under the EWEA Offshore Conference spotlight

Published on 4 November 2013

Effective sharing of marine construction experience, safe methods of working and recommended practice for offshore installation will lie at the heart of presentation by Alan MacLeay at EWEA Offshore 2013 in the ‘Synergies with other maritime technologies’ session on 20 November in the ‘Industrialising the supply chain’ track.

The offshore wind energy industry does not exist in isolation, and learning from, and integrating, other maritime sector technologies and methodologies presents opportunities for mutual cooperation, and is a vital step to increasing safety levels.

Alan MacLeay is currently the engineering director for renewables at Seaway Heavy Lifting and chairman of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Renewables Workgroup, and it is IMCA’s long record in helping marine contractors towards their”zero incidents” goal that he will be sharing with EWEA Offshore delegates.

About IMCA

IMCA is the international trade association representing well over 900 offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies active in more than 60 countries. The membership includes major offshore construction contractors, dredging contractors, cable lay and trenching contractors, survey companies, jack-up operators, crew transfer vessel operators, training organisations and developers working on offshore wind projects. It supports and represents its members, as well as offering good practice guidance to industry, on technical, safety and commercial topics by means of documents, seminars and dialogue.

The IMCA Renewables Workgroup was established in 2011 following growing concerns regarding safety in the offshore wind construction industry. Key aims of the group include helping to disseminate the knowledge, experience and recommended practice held by IMCA and its members to help improve safety and reduce installations costs in this sector.

The IMCA presentation at EWEA Offshore

As Alan MacLeay explains:”At EWEA Offshore I will be highlighting the activities of the IMCA renewables workgroup, and showing practical examples from the work of Seaway Heavy Lifting to demonstrate where existing guidance and best practice can be applied to offshore wind developments. Topics I will be covering include competence and training, lifting and rigging, cranes and winches, barge operations and safety reporting.

“Unless you come from a marine construction background you may not have heard of IMCA. Some developers, may for example, have used the CMID (Common Marine Inspection Document) which provides a standard format for the inspection of offshore vessels, they may have IMCA certified divers working on their projects, or they might be referencing IMCA lifting guidelines.

“However, unless they are members they are unlikely to be aware of the full extent of the knowledge and documented experience available from IMCA and its library of over 200 guidance documents covering everything that you might need to know about the marine contracting industry.

“In my presentation I will be discussing IMCA’s track record of publishing safety flashes sharing information on various incidents, near misses and hazard observations to help avoid recurrences elsewhere in the industry. These are readily available, cover all forms of offshore construction, and date back as a far as 1997. These are freely available online to members and non-members alike. The database of incidents on dynamically positioned (DP) vessels extends back more than 30 years.

“The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) of the UK Department of Transport examines and investigates all types of marine accidents to, or on board, UK ships worldwide and other ships in UK territorial waters. They see IMCA as the organisation to take forward the promulgation of the renewable energy marine related safety incidents. I will be describing two recent incidents involving crew transfer vessels in the UK along with the action IMCA is taking to help avoid repetition of these.”

About Alan MacLeay

Alan MacLeay has been working in the offshore renewable energy sector since 1998. He is currently the engineering director for renewables at Seaway Heavy Lifting. He studied engineering at the University of Aberdeen and is a chartered civil engineer. After graduating he spent 14 years at Arup in various roles in the design and installation of offshore structures. He joined Subsea 7 in 2003 and worked initially on the Beatrice demonstrator project. Recently he was project manager for Subsea 7 in the SSE Offshore Wind Alliance. He is currently chairman of the IMCA Renewables Workgroup.

Another IMCA renewables event

Offshore renewable energy will be very much on the agenda when the IMCA holds the first ever meeting of its long-established Europe & Africa Section in Germany.

With speakers from Technip, the German Shipowners Association, German Shipbuilders, Workships Contractors, Seaway Heavy Lifting, Bluewater, RWE, Vattenfall, ER Offshore and Global Maritime the meeting on Thursday 28 November at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg is open to members and non-members alike.

There is no charge for attending the meeting which opens with registration at 09.30 and runs until 15.30, but those interested in attending should contact Parul Patel at IMCA by emailing [email protected] telephoning +44 (0)20 7824 5523 or sending a fax to +44 (0)20 7824 5521.