Half of all offshore workers pass helicopter emergency breathing system training

Helicopter safetyMore 15,900 offshore workers have successfully completed their CA-EBS training in only three weeks

This means that more than half of the core offshore workforce has been trained in an incredibly short space of time, and the industry is on-track to reach the first deployment date next Monday (August 18).

In the weeks and months leading up to this milestone, there are a number of people who have pulled out the stops to ensure each and every offshore worker is trained with the new EBS.  Those in the EBS Workgroup, the manufacturers (Survitec Group), OPITO and their approved training providers, and member companies should be proud of the work they’ve done and what they’ve achieved. 

Les Linklater, Team Leader, Step Change in Safety, said:This is exactly what we mean by collaboration.  The introduction of the EBS is a shining example of different people working together from different companies, with different skills, to make the North Sea the safest province in the world”

Meanwhile, the aviation and offshore industries are both watching the a recent European court decision which could mean that offshore energy companies may have to charter sea vessels of bigger helicopters to accommodate ‘overweight’ workers.

Advocate General Niilo Jaaskinen – the European Union’s most senior legal adviser – ruled that being overweight qualifies as a ‘disability’ following the sacking of Karsten Kaltoft, a 25-stone childminder from Denmark. While his Opinion is yet to be testet in the European Court of Justice, it could nevertheless lead to radical changes in the way offshore employers transportstaff.

While this primarily affects oil and gas companies at present, it will increasingly impact on renewables companies and the supply chain as more offshore installations come through the planning pipeline.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has previously announced that oil workers who could not fit through a helicopter’s emergency window while in a survival suit would not be allowed to fly as of April next year.

A spokesman for Oil and Gas UK said: “We are aware of the view of the Advocate General and await the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Once this is known, our members will consider what the wider implications will be for industry.”


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