The paper describes the significant improvements in offshore HSE performance achieved in Technip-Coflexip's offshore operations through transition from reactive to proactive safety processes. Between 1997 and 2002 an 85.6% reduction in Days Away From Work Case Frequency (DAFWCF) was achieved in its offshore fleet by adjusting management systems and progressively influencing changes in workforce behaviour. By detailed analysis of a single worksite the paper describes how the introduction of each key element impacted on worksite safety and the overall results for its offshore fleet.

1. Introduction

The 'CSO Venturer' is a large monohull, dynamically positioned, construction class diving support vessel based out of Singapore for operations in the Asia-Pacific Region. The vessel is the primary offshore construction support unit for subsea installation works undertaken by Technip-Coflexip across the region including (among others) Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia & India.

The crew is a mix of nationalities since, in earlier life, thevessel was part-owned and operated in by an Indian JV partner and was used mainly for diving and subsea construction work in the Bombay High Field. During this period the crew comprised an Indian marine and construction crew with a few expatriate diving supervisory personnel. In 1995 the vessel share of the Indian partner was bought out and the vessel underwent a major conversion in Singapore, where it was cut in half just aft of the accommodation block, lengthened, sponsons added to each side to improve stability and a vertical lay and tensioning system installed for FPSO mooring installation.

With the change in ownership came the introduction of a comprehensive marine management system (MMS) compliant with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Safety Management (ISM) Code. The MMS was a considerably more complex and demanding management system than the one used by the previous operator of the vessel.

The marine management of the vessel reverted to a European based administration supported by a Regional Marine Superintendent out of Australia. Approximately 50% of the vessel's senior marine officers were replaced with Europeans from elsewhere in the fleet (including a Master, a Chief Engineer and 1st Officer) while the engine room staff, catering and marine back deck crew were a mix of Indian, Malay and Filipino. Subsea construction crews were now Australian and New Zealand nationals. When operating at capacity, the vessel has up to 108 personnel onboard with a marine crew of around 30 personnel and the balance construction / diving / ROV teams.

The principal challenge of operating in the Asia Pacific region is one which will be recognised by all those who are responsible for remote operations - the ability to ensure management systems and HSE processes are being consistently adhered to at sites where their very remoteness makes regular, but spontaneous, management visits difficult. In such circumstances, and despite audits, frequently the first indications things at site are not going to plan are rising injury rates or serious non-injury incidents.

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