Skills standardisation to boost offshore safety

11 May 2010

Offshore operators across the world could dramatically improve safety and save millions if training was standardised, according to OPITIO, a UK headquartered oil and gas academy. The skills body wants to address the situation with the introduction of MIST (Minimum Industry Safety Training) at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, USA.

MIST has been developed by OPITO, employers and the offshore workforce in a bid to improve efficiency and standardise safety training across the UK Continental Shelf.

“The delivery and content of basic safety training varies dramatically from region to region and lacks consistency across the industry,” argues David Doig, CEO of OPITO Group.

“Imagine the real step-change we would see if every worker offshore was trained to same high standards? Adopting common standards and engaging the essential support to apply them uniformly across the industry is a challenge, but OPITO is up for it and believes the industry must be too. There is a huge prize to be won if the industry accepts the challenge and really wants to do something about safety.

“The OPITO BOSIET standard (basic offshore safety induction and emergency training) is all about travelling to work safely and responding effectively to alarms. MIST is all about working safely in the workplace when you get there.”

OPITO is aiming to roll-out the concept of MIST across its existing networks in 30 countries. The organisation believes that it will demonstrate the industry’s commitment to make the offshore environment safer, give workers confidence that all their co-workers share the same level of safety training and reduce duplication of training.

The MIST standard is designed to ensure that trainees have the necessary safety awareness and training to avoid risk and ultimately incidents. It covers nine basic safety elements, including the core topics of risk assessment and permit to work, with new key safety awareness centred on mechanical lifting and platform integrity.

Mr Doig added: “Already in the UK, MIST has brought a consistent approach to basic safety training where every person on board now has confidence that their fellow worker has the same level of safely skills and knowledge as they have. It has also greatly rationalised the myriad of induction programmes applied by specific employers and is quickly becoming an essential part of offshore training with the majority of employers having implemented their plans now.”

Initial MIST training is delivered over two days however, every existing offshore worker in the UKCS is also undergoing refresher training which is carried out over the internet, saving industry and employers’ time and eliminating travel costs.

The technology underpinning MIST is a diagnostic tool called FAST TRACK which works by assessing a learner’s knowledge gaps under time-bound conditions. The content of the course that is then delivered to the learner is based on their personal knowledge gaps thereby holding their interest and saving time by only delivering the training that is required.

The MIST programme is available as a two day OPITO approved training course for workers new to the industry and in e-learning format for experienced workers to refresh their knowledge.

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