In light of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) safety review, Sodexo, based in Aberdeen, urges the industry to take advantage of the next 12 months as health in the offshore workforce will take centre stage in the year ahead.
The CAA made a number of recommendations in its latest report, including limiting the size of offshore workers. As of April 1st, 2015 anyone working offshore must be able to pass through helicopter push-out window emergency exits.
Exact size restrictions are not yet known but passengers’ size whilst wearing the appropriate survival equipment should not exceed that of the smallest window on a helicopter to aid their ability to survive in the event of an emergency landing.
Ian Russell, managing director for Sodexo Remote Sites Scotland, said:
“The report has dominated headlines and discussions and rightly so. But what the industry needs to do now is take action. It’s been proven time and time again that health is a critical component of the health and safety equation. The April 2015 deadline is an opportunity for the industry as a whole to refocus its efforts on improving the health of the offshore workforce.”
Sodexo collaborated with the University of Aberdeen to develop a healthy lifestyle solution for the offshore workforce called Well Track which involves participants and their families through an incentives-based programme. Participants are encouraged by their Sodexo coach, who stays connected with them both on and offshore, and they are rewarded for engaging in healthier lifestyles at work and on leave.
A recent 12-month Well Track pilot produced tangible results: the share of male participants with high blood pressure was reduced by more than half (from 32% to 15%), job satisfaction rose by 10% (from 87% to 97%) and the percentage of participants who rated their health as excellent or very good grew from 16% to 55%. Participants also lost a combined total of 150kg and males with a BMI of more than 30 fell from 36% to 23%.
“The offshore work environment poses a number of hurdles from a health and wellbeing perspective, including space constraints, isolation and prolonged working hours. Improving the health of offshore workers needs to become much more strategic and comprehensive than just diet alone. For example, options need to be available for these workers when they are onshore as well.
Sodexo has secured a number of global industry accolades for Well Track including World Oil’s Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainable Development Offshore award, and Energy Institute’s Safety Award.