The Great Crew Change and its impact on offshore safety
| Written by David Gordon
The Great Crew Change puts an additional emphasis on remaining and strenghtening safety on offshore installations in the oil and gas industry.
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As companies today understand that auditing and reporting, a safety plan, and training promote a culture of safety and go hand-in-hand with business growth, there are still factors that challenge the existing safety standards: inconsistent level of commitment to safety, a lack of trained safety professionals and seasoned personnel being replaced (learn more about our offshore HSE solution here).
Offshore Industry challenges
In the future, companies in the offshore sector will be forced to lower costs to attract necessary investments for the looming decarbonisation of the industry while staying competitive. Cutting costs mandates excellent operational practices, lower technical risks, and better exploitation of smaller reservoirs, even in more difficult areas like the deep sea.
Besides that, “the Great Crew Change” may be one of the bigger challenges to the offshore industry in the coming years: as many experienced workers will retire, the cohort of late 30s to 50s is small. With retirement departs knowledge and experience, negatively affecting safety and productivity.
In Oil & gas, most engineers and geoscientists are either over 55 or under 35. That said, most of the older employees will be retiring in the next 5 -10 years. With them goes invaluable know-how: real world experience can't be learned in school or watching a Youtube video.
Practical experience in the field is what makes a veteran and to be capable to make decisions, taking into account all the factors, risk, investment, and geologic aspects. Directly and indirectly, this has implications on safety too. Bad decisions will lead to incidents, and decisions are made based on individual experience and available information.