The Passenger Size workgroup has created a standardised clothing policy which sets out guidance on what should be worn under a survival suit when travelling offshore in a helicopter in the UK.
According to Step Change in Safety, the policy will be effective from Wednesday, 1st October and should be observed by all workers travelling to installations in UK waters. Information will be available at UK heliports that support the oil and gas sector.
Among other things, as seen in the infographics above, hoodies are not allowed as they would interfere with the neck seal of the survival suit. The tight neck and wrists seals are essential in keeping the water out of the suit in the case of the helicopter crash offshore. Polo-necks and jackets with high collars could also pose a risk to the neck seal.
Also, the Step Change in Safety has informed that the size and shape study that was run by Oil & Gas UK and RGU is near completion, and the workgroup is establishing practical solutions that will keep offshore workers safe.
Step Change in Safety is an organization founded in 1997 by the Oil and Gas industry trade associations with the aim of reducing all the UK offshore Oil and Gas industry injury rate by 50%.
EBS buddy checks
The CAT-A EBS is now carried on all commercial helicopter flights to assets in the UKCS. More than 56,700 people have been trained with the system.
“We have been made aware of a few minor issues with regard to shipping and handling of the units as well as some discrepancies with buddy checks. Please remember that the EBS is a piece of safety equipment and it’s important everyone follows the simple steps of buddy checks,” the Step Change in Safety has advised, and provided the image below for assistance.
The buddy check is a procedure originally carried out by scuba divers using the buddy system where each diver checks that the other’s diving equipment is configured and functioning correctly just before the start of the dive.
The EBS is a product of an initiative launched by the Civil Aviation Authority to increase the safety of offshore helicopter flights, following a fatal crash of the Super Puma L2 helicopter, owned by CHC, in August 2013. Four passengers died, 14 were rescued.