UKOOA Safety Guidelines Hailed as "Models of Best Practice"

Two newly revised and updated guidelines on CD-Rom designed to improve safety on offshore vessels and throughout the oil and gas supply chain have been hailed as "models of best practice" by the Industry.

"Guidelines for the Safe Packing and Handling of Cargo to and from Offshore Locations" have been released by the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA), which also worked jointly with the Chamber of Shipping to issue "Guidelines for the Safe Management and Operation of Offshore Support Vessels".

The updated guidelines were officially launched on Gulf Offshore North Sea Ltd's new owner-operated anchor handling tug supply vessel "MV Highland Courage" which arrived in Aberdeen from Norway on Monday, December 16th to take up service in the North Sea.

They are endorsed by StepChange in Safety, the Marine Safety Forum, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the British Rig Owners Association and the International Association of Drilling Contractors as well as RMT and NUMAST.

The cargo handling guidelines have been revised to take into account recent changes in legislation relating to the carriage of dangerous goods on offshore supply vessels and to recognize lessons learned over the past year with regards to potential dropped objects.

Key revisions to the offshore support vessel guidelines include updated sections on procedures for tank cleaning, joystick operations, mobilizing and demobilizing in port, carriage of dangerous goods and overboard discharges. A new section on accountability for safety has also been introduced.

"The guidelines are being used as an essential tool in the drive to raise safety awareness on offshore vessels and within the supply chain across the oil and gas sector. They are widely acknowledged as setting the standard for best safety practice," said Duncan Cursiter of Shell U.K. Exploration and Production and member of the Marine Safety Forum set up to improve safety performance in the marine sector.

Both publications are available on CD-Rom from the UKOOA.