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OPITO launch New Global Standard to address Offshore Safety Zone Incidents

Posted on 26 March 2024

OPITO launch New Global Standard to address Offshore Safety Zone Incidents

OPITO, the global safety and skills organisation for the energy industry, has launched a new training standard to ensure increased awareness, competency and reduce incidents in the safety zones around offshore installations.

The Safe Offshore Marine Operations (SOMO) – Offshore Installations & Energy Structures Safety Zone standard has been created to mitigate avoidable collisions within these exclusion areas globally.

The product has been developed in response to a recommendation from the Marine Safety Forum (MSF) and following consultation with the MSF, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other industry stakeholders, to provide best practice to those operating in and around safety zones across energy sectors.

It will equip those responsible for marine operations around all energy structures, such as oil and gas installations and assets, offshore wind turbines and other structures associated with energy production, to recognise and mitigate potential hazards.

The standard aligns with the Marine Operations Guide, which was developed by the MSF in line with Step Change in Safety under the joined-up thinking identity, which sets out the method upon which vessels should approach any offshore structure.

Sarah Hutcheon, Product Development Manager at OPITO, said: “We are committed to creating workforce development solutions to build a safe and skilled energy workforce.

“Industry has highlighted there are avoidable collisions happening in safety zones globally and therefore the requirement to address the knowledge, competency and level of training of those working in operations in these areas.

“This standard sets out to tackle challenges, safeguard against risk and contribute meaningfully to safe offshore marine operations. Those undertaking this training will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding to identify and recognise any potential hazards and unsafe practices.

“We look forward to the positive impact this new training standard will have as it is rolled out globally.”

OPITO engaged closely with industry stakeholders including Seacroft Marine Consultants to develop a robust training standard to meet the requirements of the entire industry.

Managing Director of Seacroft Marine Consultants, Michael Cowlam, said: “For the last eight years we have trained more than 3000 people, in the UK and internationally, to improve best practice and help mitigate incidents involving attending vessels in the safety zone.

“We have been delighted to work with OPITO and industry stakeholders, including the MSF, to develop this to become a globally recognised industry standard.

“As a result, we hope to see an increase in knowledge and risk prevention by those working in these safety zones and ultimately safer marine operations globally.”