The offshore industry is a remarkable example of technological achievements. However, offshore installations, FPSOs and other types of rigs operating in the harshest environments, in sometimes great depths and under constant constraints of resources. The potential profits of offshore drilling are significant, but so are the risks. The factors mentioned above create a complex environment of hazards waiting to strike. Get more depth about offshore emergency response here...
Therefore, safety must be the number one priority on these installations. Lives and wealth are at risk and must be secured because you care for the wellbeing of your personnel, and you are responsible for smooth and efficient operation in a risky environment at the same time. Therefore, one crucial approach to improving your emergency response is preparedness.
As you can imagine, there are myriads of offshore hazards. Most of them can be categorised into exposure to a wide range of hazardous substances, radiations, noise, vibration, extremes of heat and cold and ergonomic hazards. All have the potential to harm the health of workers, immediately or in later life. HSE UK names five main groups of health hazards in the offshore oil and gas industry.
- musculoskeletal disorders (manual handling, ergonomics)
- hazardous substances
- physical hazards (noise, vibration, asbestos and radiation)
- biological hazards (food/water hygiene)
- psychosocial hazards (stress)
HSE UK recommends a systematic approach to managing these health risks by applying a four-stage risk assessment for each occupational health risk. The risk assessment is a small but critical part of your overall management system (Planning and Setting Standards). The four stages of the risk assessment process are
- Identifying the health hazards
- Assessing the health risks
- Controlling the risks to health
- Mitigating the risks to health
The same approach is recommended to deal with potential emergency scenarios. In our latest whitepaper (Improving Offshore Emergency Response), we discuss two examples of emergency responses. Additionally, we will dive into the assessment of offshore evacuation.
(Continue reading about Emergency Response Management)