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Essential data will help shape offshore safety needs

Oil and Gas UK has announced the release of data from a high-tech study that has captured the changing shape of the North Sea offshore workforce.

The trade body, along with Robert Gordon University (RGU), was funded by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant to examine workers’ size and shape, hoping that results generated would help guide the future design of offshore safety equipment, as well as the working environment.

The two-year study was led by Dr Arthur Stewart a reader from RGU’s School of Health Sciences and Dr Graham Furnace, Oil and Gas UK’s medical adviser. It has yielded plenty of results, culminating in eight publications so far.

“Our work has characterised the shape of male offshore workers using the latest 3D scanning technology,” said Dr Stewart. “With our representative sample we assessed their ability to pass one another in restricted width settings or to exit helicopter windows, to assess buoyant force in survival suits, and have also identified 11 ‘physique clusters’ which typify the workers.”

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil and Gas UK, said: “It has been an extremely worthwhile partnership involving academia and industry. Findings will help inform all aspects of offshore ergonomics and health and safety, such as survival suit design and space availability in corridors and work environments offshore.

“The research also played a pivotal role in helping guide the work being done on passenger seating in helicopters in the wake of Civil Aviation Authority concerns about passenger size and emergency push-out windows.”

The data is available here

Oil and Gas UK
November 2016