After the Piper Alpha disaster, the Department for Energy introduced new regulations which led to the formation of SI971 Elected Safety Reps (ESRs). The SI971 Guidance states: "As a follow up, consideration should be given to developmental training needs", but until recently, no additional training existed.
In 2011, OPITO, HSE's Workforce Involvement Group, Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety set up a group to investigate the needs of ESRs and decide on a standard for additional training.
The resulting standard consists of the following modules: Understanding and identifying Major Accident Hazards; Understanding Risk Analysis; Investigating Incidents and Applying Root Cause Analysis; Inspect, Audit and Communicate.
Glen Sheppard, an ESR who helped to write the standard, attended training for two of the modules delivered by DNVGL.
"The course modules are a long way from the dreaded 'Death by PowerPoint' courses we all dislike so much," said Glen. "These are interactive, and designed to get ESRs from across the industry discussing, learning and sharing good practice.
"DNVGL came up with ways of taking some in-depth and fairly complex subjects and teaching us how to understand them using everyday language and examples."
Feedback from other ESRs who have undertaken modules is positive. They consider the four modules a huge step forward in ESR development, increasing confidence and allowing ESRs to do their job better."
DNVGL offer the training courses in Manchester and Aberdeen. Details can be found at www.dnvgl.com.
Glen continues: "I believe the industry would be a safer place if every ESR was to complete the modules."