Shaun Garrathy, Business Manager for Fircroft Aberdeen, discusses the new regulations which will affect all offshore personnel going forward.
As of 1st April 2015, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s new regulations in regards to helicopter passengers travelling to and from offshore installations will take effect. The measurement strategy involves measuring personnel with calipers in order to determine their shoulder width. Those with a width of more than 22 inches will be classed as extra broad, and will therefore need to sit in a helicopter seat next to a window compatible with their shoulder size. Anyone with a shoulder with of less than 22 inches will be classed as regular and are able to sit in any of the designated seats. These results will be recorded in order to allow future flights to be planned in advance.
The new measurement strategy came about following a review by the CAA, stating that all passengers travelling to an offshore platform via helicopter will be required to sit in a seat nearest to a push-out emergency exit window compatible with their body size, which is initially determined by their shoulder width. The change was first announced by Step Change in Safety in October 2014, and will be officially taking effect as of 1st April 2015.
To keep in line with the new regulations, occupational health professionals in the industry will be trained to measure personnel with the appropriate calipers. As a result, anyone travelling or planning to travel offshore via helicopter through UK airspace for UK operations must be been measured, size classified and have their details entered into Vantage. All said measurements and approvals must take place prior to travelling to the heliport, as this is an industry-applied requirement. In some cases, clients may have the facilities to measure contractors either offshore or within their offices, however this should be confirmed with the client in advance.
Researchers at Robert Gordon University found that male offshore oil and gas workers are now on average 19% heavier and 2% taller than comparable personnel in the 1980s. The research undertaken by RGU, in collaboration with Oil and Gas UK, has determined crucial requirements going forward in regards to the health and safety of offshore workers.
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