HØVIK, Norway – Transferring personnel to offshore installations using crew boats and crane-lifted carriers is common around the world; however, practices, levels of training, standards, and the equipment used vary greatly.
Risk assessments currently use outdated statistics, says DNV GL, and there is no central system for recording levels of activity and incidents. To improve safety and raise the profile of this operation, DNV GL has done a study for the newly launched Marine Transfer Forum.
The Forum brings together offshore operators, vessel operators, lifting specialists, and transfer system manufacturers to increase industry knowledge and mitigate risk. Founder members include Reflex Marine, Enermech, Seacore Marine, and DNV GL.
By creating this forum, operators will have a system to provide (anonymous) data on personnel transfer activity, which will be used develop risk data that will be made available to the industry.
To start this, DNV GL has analyzed available data on global marine transfer accidents collated by Reflex Marine. This estimated that 5.15 million passengers were transferred from vessel to installation by crane in 2012. From 2009 to 2013, there were five fatal accidents, meaning that the average rate is approximately one fatal accident per year worldwide, or a one in five million chance of fatality in each transfer. This compares to one in 400,000 chance of fatality if transferred by helicopter, 11 times higher than crane transfer. It should be noted that the crane transfer data excludes risks in transit, whereas helicopter data covers the complete journey to/from shore. These results will be used to improve risk assessments of marine transfer.
The Marine Transfer Forum will encourage systematic and regular data collection, and aims to compile more comprehensive statistics in the same way as the offshore industry does for helicopter operations.