Step Change in Safety plays key role in ensuring safety of ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’ stars and contestants

Top Channel 4 series "SAS: Who Dares Wins" uses Aberdeen decommissioning company to film rig-based task for its latest series

Melding two distinctly different operating cultures on a remote operating environment for a SAS task is not without its challenges and is certainly not for the faint hearted. That said, with attention to detail, perfect planning, and adherence to the highest standards, it was a task that showcased the oil & gas sector’s finest safety culture.

Step Change in Safety member company Well-Safe Solutions took part in filming for the upcoming Channel 4 series last summer with strict covid procedures in place.

The company’s semi-submersible rig, the Well-Safe Guardian, currently located in the Port of Cromarty Firth, was the location for the task, with crew onboard ensuring a smooth delivery of operations and the safety of all involved.

Well-Safe reached out to Step Change in Safety Executive Director, Steve Rae, to provide a third-party review of the risk assessments required to undertake these activities with a mindset of “no incidents, no harm to personnel, the environment, or the asset”.

Steve said: “From the onset it was obvious that all the organisations involved had a genuine willingness to engage, collaborate and share their experience for the greater good. The bringing together of likeminded individuals with the required knowledge, experience, and competence, combined with the common object of delivering the filming of these activities safely, set us up for success.”

Steve called upon Fiona Fitzgerald, of member Company Evolve Consulting, who is also Co-Chair of Step Change in Safety Major Accident Hazard Understanding workgroup to provide expert assistance in developing Bowtie Risk Assessment.

Bowtie 2 SAS

Pic: Sample bowtie risk assessment

With collaboration at the core of the project, Well-Safe carried out a rigorous assessment exercises alongside Step Change in Safety, Minnow Films and Remote Trauma to ensure all major accident hazard risks were identified and mitigated. A large admiration was held for the production’s standard of qualifications in health and safety, offshore qualifications and risk assessment capability.

Alex Bohanna, Director of Operations at Remote Trauma, an independent health and safety consultancy agency working alongside Minnow Films, said: “Often working in remote and inhospitable environments for our shoots, it is our job to ensure we keep our people safe from harm. The Well-Safe personnel complemented our belief in safety and exceeded our expectations.”

“The planning process that Well-Safe instigated leading up to the shoot day followed clear and structured procedures. Time was taken to understand the risk involved in the task and apply barriers and mitigation to enable the activities to be carried out safely.”

Due to begin transmission this month, the show sees civilians put through military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength. Ex-special forces and show star Jason Fox said: “Gaining access to the Well-Safe Guardian and working closely with their team for our task enabled a rare filming opportunity like this to be possible.”

Not only was this exercise out-with the industry "norm", but the organisation process through the digital work-from-home age saw ropes teams, ex-military advisors and high-level corporate bosses dialling in from their respective locations.


Pictured: Jason Fox, Ant Middleton and Mark Billingham onboard the Well-Safe Guardian