Tough trading conditions do not directly correlate to decreasing safety standards, and the offshore transportation industry can and must maintain its pursuit of continuous safety improvement during periods of depressed demand. These were the key messages delivered by Bristow Group CEO Jonathan Baliff in a presentation this month’s Helitech show in London.
Mr Baliff, who serves on HeliOffshore’s board of directors, spelt out what he described as the “three commandments of safety in a downturn,” while adding that a rapid upturn in the market can pose challenges to safety. The three commandments are as follows:
- Continuous improvement. To maintain high levels of performance, you must constantly assess and improve.
- You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Report on reporting through rigorous self-assessment metrics (for example, Elevated Risk Events)
- Collaboration is a daily habit. As an industry, we will only be as safe as our weakest linkages amongst clients, operators and OEMs.
Offering an honest assessment of lessons learnt during the recent downturn in the oil and gas sector, Mr Baliff argued for changes in the offshore transportation business model. He advocated for business models that help to use assets in the most efficient way and incentivize investment in areas that improve safety, such as enhanced technology and continuous improvement.
In conclusion, Mr Baliff spelt out three key ways that all industry stakeholders can pull together to improve safety in offshore transportation:
- Employees (both from operators and clients) need to be listened to with constructive and productive feedback. (Bristow recently conducted its own operational safety assessment)
- Industry should collaborate through HeliOffshore, especially and OEMs (such as leadership in information data sharing).
- Clients need to make it easier to do more with less through initiatives such as more standardisation and collaboration in safety audits (as Bristow’s clients in Nigeria have recently done).
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