Aker Solutions' Training Program Tackles Major Offshore Safety Issue

Aberdeen-based Aker Solutions has developed a new national training program aimed at tackling one of the key contributors to major gas leaks in the oil and gas industry.

Working in partnership with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and Tullos Training, Aker Solutions has created a 2-day course designed to improve training around small bore tubing (SBT) failures which recent industry reviews have pinpointed as being a main cause of the number of significant gas hydrocarbon releases offshore.

The program, which is mapped to the ECITB National Occupational Standards for instrument pipefitting, was devised in response to the Health and Safety Executive's request that operators review their workers training needs to assess whether further training on SBT was required both for those new to the industry or as a refresher to maintain skill levels in experienced personnel.

Aker Solutions and its partners have spent six months developing the program and following a successful pilot scheme, courses are now being offered to industry through Aberdeen-based Tullos Training.

"Some industry evidence has suggested that up to a quarter of SBT systems that are inspected or surveyed contain faults, the majority being under-tight connections, followed by assembly errors. Many of these faults may be as a result of maintenance intervention and a failure to replace tubing and fittings correctly," said Deborah McBeath, VP of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality at Aker Solutions.

"We are delighted that Aker Solutions has been able to play such an important role in reducing the impact if this problem. Whilst it's often perceived as hard working with national bodies this initiative proves that industry can work effectively with organizations like the ECITB to address issues and shows there are models of delivery that can be effective for the offshore industry."