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2010 Awards Citations


On 08 April 2009, one week after the accident of Flight 85N in which 16 men died in an offshore helicopter crash off the northeast coast of Scotland, the Helicopter Task Group (HTG) was set up by Oil & Gas UK. The purpose of the group was to address cross-industry issues around helicopter safety, including those arising from this tragic crash. Bob Keiller, CEO of PSN, was invited to chair the group.

Bob laid the foundations for the HTG's success by inviting the unions, workforce members, emergency services and regulators to join the group at an early stage, realising that a pan industry approach was needed to address the concerns following the accident of Flight 85N. The HTG concentrated on three key areas of accident prevention, emergency response and communication, and was characterised by setting tight but realistic time lines and making individuals on the group accountable for certain projects and progress in these. Over the 16 months that it existed, it achieved very notable success including: working with the helicopter companies to introduce the Advanced Anomaly Detection safety system on UK offshore helicopter flights; ensuring air traffic control coverage was extended into the Northern and Central North Sea by installing new equipment offshore and using a technique known as "multilateration"; taking the lead in the reintroduction of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs); and agreeing a common standard/approved training course on weather reporting for everyone who does this role offshore. HTG was also instrumental in developing a new one-day helicopter safety awareness course and producing a cross industry DVD on helicopter safety - this can be viewed on the Oil & Gas UK website

This new model of engagement was so successful that it has been used again in 2010 to respond to safety concerns around drilling and oil spills in the light of the Deepwater Horizon by creating the UK Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG), again bringing together industry (operators and contractors), the regulators, emergency services and trade unions.

This award is for Bob Keiller's outstanding personal initiative in driving the HTG forward. His strong leadership enabled the diverse group of industry interests to work together towards one overall goal: improving the safety of helicopter operations. He brought a high sense of urgency to the group, and Bob's strong communication skills and personal engagement meant the achievements of the HTG were communicated widely, gained the group high respect amongst the workforce, industry, and the media. The timely completion and achievement of the HTG's tasks was very much down to Bob's personal commitment and focus.


The Atlantic Marine Safety Council was established in January 2003, at that time comprising ExxonMobil and vessel operator management, operations and safety personnel including Vessel Masters and Offshore Installation Managers. ExxonMobil, who operate the Sable natural gas project offshore Nova Scotia, and who are the lead owner of the Hibernia oil project offshore Newfoundland, recognized opportunities for developing a better interface with marine contractors with a vision of creating a uniform safety culture and facilitating continuous improvements in safety. Regular meetings and communication channels were established to address safety stewardship, systemic concerns and lessons learned from vessel incidents and near misses.

By 2005, the concept of a Marine Safety Council was widely and readily accepted in Atlantic Canada, with membership in the council expanded to include other Atlantic Canada operators and marine contractors, and including owners of shuttle tankers. The meetings and regular interchanges between member organizations have become a vital tool in the stewardship of all member companies' safety performance. Today, the Marine Safety Council is consistently hosted by the various Atlantic Canada operators and marine vessel owners who have a stake in safety in offshore vessel operations in the region, and who all see the continuing need to strive for operations where nobody gets hurt.

The Marine Safety Council has created many improvements for vessel safety since its inception. Some of the significant improvements include: Enhanced Deckhand Training; the implementation of Critical Procedures; Job Safety Analysis; Last Minute Risk Assessment and Hazard Awareness; Leading Indicators; 3rd Party Safety Assessments of vessels, and the development of Proactive Case Management processes to mitigate injuries.

Safety performance for offshore vessels has improved significantly since the Marine Safety Council was established. In 2003, the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) for supply and stand-by vessels operating in Atlantic Canada was 6.81 per million persons hours worked. By 2009, the Total Recordable Incident Rate has fallen to 1.96. This is a tremendous improvement and one that all member organizations should be proud of.

The Marine Safety Council has clearly demonstrated the fact that cooperation, shared expertise and shared experience can and does positively influence and enhance safety for those working on vessels offshore Atlantic Canada. In presenting the Carolita Kallaur award, the International Regulators' Forum recognizes the outstanding contribution the Marine Safety Council has made to safety within the Atlantic Canada offshore, and recognizes that such an initiative has the potential to kindle continuous safety improvement in our industry on a global front.

Member organisations (past and present):

ExxonMobilMarathon Oil
Hibernia Management and Development CompanySuncor Energy (Petro Canada)
EncanaHusky Energy
Northern Transportation CompanyAtlantic Towing
A. Harvey & Company Offshore LogisticsSeabase Maersk
ChevronCanship Ugland
Secunda Marine ServicesCanadian Superior

Vessel (Supply and Stand-by) Total Recordable Incident Rates (Atlantic Canada):

Graph showing TRIR falling from 6.81 in 2003 to 1.96 in 2009. The number of person hours is also shown, steady below 1.0 until 2009 when it was slightly above 1.0.


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