Reducing Incidents in Marine Personnel Transfer
- Philip A. Strong (Reflex Marine Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- June 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 5
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.3.3 Operational Safety, 4.5.5 Installation Equipment and Techniques, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 6.1.2 HSSE Reporting
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|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Millions of crew transfers take place each year, and whether they are by boat or helicopter, this remains one of the most high-risk activities in offshore operations. Although the safety of crane transfers compares favorably with other methods of crew supply, incidents and associated litigations are not infrequent.
Why does such an apparently simple operation go wrong? One reason is a lack of recognition of the true risks. Operators go to great lengths to improve the safety of helicopter operations, while marine transfers rarely get a second thought. The underlying objective, however, remains the same: to move personnel to and from their place of work in a safe, cost-effective, and reliable manner.
This paper looks at the real risks, the root causes, of recorded incidents and outlines how transfers can be made safer. Risk can be managed in two ways:
- Engineered protection. A modern car provides a secure environment that can protect passengers from impacts. A transfer device can do the same and guard against the inevitable human factors that contribute to the majority of incidents.
- Improved operational control. Procedures, pre-lift planning, communications, and training can all play a significant role in reducing risk.
The paper also describes how analysis of past incidents led to the development of improved equipment and operating practices. Considerable focus was given to human factors to prevent minor misjudgments, for example by a crane operator or a vessel skipper, leading to serious incidents.
After 10 years working with enhanced systems and after millions of safe transfers, the author explains why serious transfer incidents are not an inevitable feature of offshore life. Modest investments and changes in operational practices have provided many operators with a dual benefit of safer operations and reduced downtime.
Finally, the author takes a look at the future of offshore crew supply, providing details of a groundbreaking new project that will utilize a state-of-the-art high-speed catamaran and newly developed transfer system. This will be the first time that a vessel and transfer system have been custom-built to provide swift, comfortable, and safe transfers to offshore installations. The system, developed for the new Crewzer Class of vessel, is due to be commissioned in the Gulf of Mexico in late 2007.
Over the past few years, operators have become increasingly aware that the movement of personnel is one of the highest risk activities associated with offshore operations ("Safety Performance" 2006; Hart 2005). The emergence of new equipment and operational philosophies are leading many industry professionals to take a fresh look at their crew supply options and associated risks, efficiencies, and costs.
A lack of good data relating to marine activity and incidents continues to be an impediment, although awareness of this issue is now increasing in the industry.
This paper outlines how a group of transfer specialists compiled their own database in order to evaluate the root causes of past incidents. Their analysis indicated there had been an overreliance on human responses and suggests that improved equipment and operational controls could reduce this reliance. The paper describes the approach taken to develop a safer transfer solution. It also looks at how one vessel operator plans to introduce a completely new approach to marine transfers and has custom-designed a vessel specifically for the purpose of providing safer and more efficient personnel transfers.
|File Size||791 KB||Number of Pages||5|
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