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Offshore Support Journal

Offshore Support Journal

Reporting incidents has a positive effect

Tue 03 Apr 2018

Reporting incidents has a positive effect
IMCA technical adviser Nick Hough (shown here) and his colleague Andy Goldsmith are encouraging members to ensure that they submit a report when something goes wrong

Learning from others’ experiences is important at all stages of life, and in the marine contracting industry today, it is vital

In 2017, members of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) reported numerous safety incidents and dynamic positioning (DP) events.

“The results for 2017 show that the lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), both offshore and onshore, was half of that of 2007 and that there has been a steady decrease over the years,” said IMCA’s technical advisers Andy Goldsmith and Nick Hough. “Reporting incidents helps drive down the LTIFR figure. The 2007 figure stood at 1.09 and the 2017 figure at 0.43.”

IMCA publishes safety statistics and flashes on incidents, but they are non-attributable. Moreover, there is a developing awareness that publishing safety flashes helps in sharing vital ‘what/why/lessons learned’ information – and contributes to the prevention of incidents.

In 2017, IMCA published 32 flashes covering 148 incidents. This year, there have been six flashes covering 28 incidents. Recent safety flashes have enabled members to learn lessons relating to dropped objects; ‘line of fire’ incidents; incidents relating to the use of small boats, lifeboats or rescue craft; stored energy release; and fires or potential fires.

An interactive five-star rating system has been introduced, urging safety flash recipients to ‘Please rate this alert to help us select and prioritise future safety flash material’. The feedback received has already proved useful and encouraging.   

IMCA provides several simple pointers for potential contributors: What happened? Why? What were the causes? Actions taken, lessons learned or recommendations; provide photographs or diagrams; use plain English – keep it simple and readable; don’t use jargon; make sure your contributions are not too long, not too short – ideally, a single page. Reporting companies can be reassured that incidents are dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Those who attended Riviera’s European DP Conference in London in early February or read reports afterwards will know that IMCA announced a sharp increase in the reporting of DP stationkeeping events.

Reporting by IMCA members of such events increased by 25% during 2017. This was hugely encouraging, with reports received from 75 separate vessels. Certificates of participation and industry leadership were issued to 34 IMCA members.

During the year, the following were reported: 17 DP incidents (a major system failure, environmental or human factor that has resulted in loss of DP capability); 56 DP ‘undesired events’ (a system failure, environmental or human factor that has caused a loss of redundancy and/or compromised DP capability); 25 DP observations (an event that has not resulted in a loss of redundancy or compromised DP operational capability but is still deemed worthy of sharing). This equated to 17.3% of reports being DP incidents resulting in loss of DP capability.

Over the past three years, the trend has been positive – in 2015, the percentage was 25%, and in 2016, it was 23.1%. It is IMCA’s intention to keep promoting the reporting scheme with the intention of providing the industry with useful feedback to help improve DP operations.

“The reporting schemes – safety and DP – show IMCA taking the lead in the offshore industry, in the oil and gas and renewables sectors. Keep those reports coming,” said IMCA’s technical advisers.


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