Around the world, in is common place for offshore workers to be required to hold undergo a medical examination and be required to hold a certificate confirming that they are medically fit enough to work in the demanding industry. Each OGUK medical certificate lasts a maximum of 2 years.
Within the United Kingdom, Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) sets the minimum standard of fitness to be reached by anyone working in the industry. Despite applying to the UK, the OGUK offshore medical standards are increasingly being accepted the world over as the minimum level of health and fitness for anyone working in the industry.
The medical examination and certificate must be completed by a doctor registered with OGUK, typically lasts around 90 minutes and includes the following topics:
- Check of Photographic ID
- Log details of your current doctor and medical practice.
- Completion of a comprehensive medical, social & occupational health history questionnaire.
- Body Mass Index Calculation (Measurement of height & weight). May include body fat %.
- Vision Test, including checking colour vision.
- Audiometry / Augiogram (Hearing Test).
- Check of Cardiovascular System (Pulse and Blood Pressure) and Lung Function (Peak Flow)
- Urinalysis (Typically dip stick test with instant results for testing Kidney Function)
- Further consultation with a doctor and clinical examination as appropriate.
BOSIET / FOET
Approved by OPITO (Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization), the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training with Compressed Air Breathing System (BOSIET with CA-EBS) is the minimum training required for working offshore.
Existing holders of a BOSIET with CA-EBS who are approaching the 4-yr expiry date can however renew their certification with a shorter Further Offshore Emergency Training (FOET with CA-EBS) course.
The BOSIET with CA-EBS provides the delegate with a solid foundation covering hazard awareness, knowledge and skills relevant to travelling offshore by helicopter and working offshore. The full course includes:
- Basic safety induction
- Compressed Air Emergency Breathing Systems (CA-EBS) including shallow water exercises
- Firefighting and self-rescue
- Helicopter safety and escape
- Sea survival
- Survival first aid
A key section of the BOSIET is the escape from a helicopter in the event of an emergency. This is conducted in a specially designed pool with a mock-up rig. A leading provider, Survivex have captured this part of the course well in this video: https://vimeo.com/38782804
Prior to completing a BOSIET or renewing with a FOET, delegates are, as of March 2018, required to hold a valid OGUK ‘Fit to Train’ / offshore medical. You must bring a copy with you to the course or you will not be allowed to participate.
The BOSIET course lasts for 3 full days, the FOET lasts for 1 full day. Both courses require a renewal after a period of 4 years.
Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST)
Minimum Industry Safety Training, MIST for short is a course that was introduced in 2009 and made mandatory for all workers in the North Sea / UKCS (UK Continental Shelf). MIST was created with the aim of reducing the risk of accidents and injury by providing all workers travelling offshore with basic safety awareness.
Like the BOSIET / FOET, the MIST training course is required to follow a syllabus and be conducted by a training body approved by OPITO. MIST comes in two forms, a 2-day classroom taught course that new entrants are required to complete and an online course for renewing and for workers who had offshore experience prior to the introduction of the course. The online course takes 2 – 5 hours. Whichever course is taken, it is valid for 4 years.
The MIST course covers topics including:
- Major Accident Hazards
- Workplace Hazards & Personal Safety
- Risk Management
- Control of Work
- Helicopter Safety
At the end of the course, there is a short examination, to pass a score of 100% is required.
Further details on the MIST course can be found on the Atlas Knowledge website
Offshore operating companies often require that visitors complete platform or operator specific training as part of their onboarding process. This is in addition to the training that forms part of the Common Offshore Safety Induction process.
Although the training differs, this typically consists of online e-learning courses in the following topics:
- HSE Induction
- Use of Integrated Safe System of Work (ISSOW) or Permit to Work (PTW)
- Use of any specific software / systems (such as Proscient, STAR, Maximo, Emtrax)
Depending on the role you fulfil offshore, further training may be required prior to carrying out specific duties. Additionally, you will often find that there is a vast amount of optional training for your personal development.
Example training for specific duties includes:
- Oil in Water
- COSHH Assessor
- OPITO Offshore Emergency Response Team Member (OERTM)
- OPITO Authorised Gas Tester Training or Face Fit Testing
- Confined Space Entry / Awareness
- Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) Awareness
Example training courses for personal development includes:
- OPITO Petroleum Open Learning (POL)
- ECITB SBT Small Bore Tube Fitting
- Process Operations / Safety Training
- Production Operator Training
- NEBOSH (National General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety)