OPITO research reveals that global competence assurance would improve safety and competency in the oil and gas industry
Tuesday, Nov 06, 2012

Oil and gas operators and contractors interviewed as part of new research for OPITO International have said that the development of common systems, recognised certifications and accreditations along with the development of a global assurance programme would significantly improve safety and competency.

The research, entitled “Managing the Safety Chain” and conducted by Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University in collaboration with Collins College of Business at the University of Tulsa, explores how oil and gas companies are managing competence and safety as it relates to their licence to operate and to the management of the contractor workforce.

The companies interviewed also want to see a greater exchange of ideas across the industry and better sharing of best practice to improve safety and measure competency. Looking outside the oil and gas industry and exploring what other industries such as nuclear and aviation are doing was recommended.

Taking a more long-term view was also considered to be important with some companies saying that currently the industry did not look far enough ahead in terms of industry trends in the next five, ten or twenty years.

However the most important factors towards a step-change in safety and competency are involving people in the development of systems and placing more emphasis on personal responsibility.

All the findings of the research will be revealed at OPITO’s annual Safety and Competence Conference (OSCC) on 22nd of November 2012 in Abu Dhabi.

David Doig, OPITO Group chief executive, said: ”Previous research conducted for OPITO has concentrated on the application of common global standards and the relationship between compliance and competence. With this new research we wanted to dig deeper into how competence and safety are actually managed across the supply chain to ensure offshore workers whether employees or contractors are competent to do the job safely and effectively.

“The research has identified the drivers for safety and competency management among contracting companies and their clients – the operators - as well as explored different strategies and plans for developing a safe and competent workforce and, most importantly, how these are measured. The report makes for very interesting reading and will be of huge value to the industry when it is presented at the OSCC later this month.”

Participants were asked how they make sure workers understand risks and how they mitigate against them as well as how evidence of this is gathered. Specific behaviours and attitudes in relation to safety and competency and the challenges of managing a competent contractor-based workforce are also examined.

Source: OPITO

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