Offshore Technicians Get Special IMO Treatment

On Friday, Maritime Safety Committee of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted interim recommendations on safe carriage of offshore technicians and agreed on a definition of these technicians – so-called industrial personnel – under which wind turbine technicians and installation personnel with proper training in maritime safety are no longer considered as ordinary passengers.

Illustration (Image: Njord Offshore)

The IMO proposes, inter alia, that the member states stipulate minimum requirements for the technicians’ safety training level as well as requirements for a health certificate.

“With this guide IMO sends a clear signal that vessel operations with industrial technicians onboard are not considered as passenger service. We find this extremely positive. It simply does not make sense to regard technicians with a specific safety training in working at sea as ordinary passengers,” Danish Shipowners’ Association quotes Anders Boman, Chief Operating Oficer at Northern Offshore Services, as saying.

As a follow-up on the decision, the IMO also agreed on a future long-term process for the development of a common international safety standard before 2024.

Per Sønderstrup, Director of the Danish Maritime Authority: “This is an important step when it comes to establishing international standards for the offshore industry and consequently a level playing field also in, for example, the North Sea. At the same time, it is an acknowledgement that there is a need for common offshore safety training standards.

“Today, many wind turbine technicians have completed safety training due to industry standards, but the definition is a decisive step in the development of a harmonised, international safety standard for offshore vessels. The definition takes account of the special operational patterns and risk profile of this type of vessels.”