Keeping people safe is the first consideration in all aspects of offshore oil and natural gas activity. Making sure employees have the skills necessary to do their jobs safely by providing relevant and appropriate training is one of the ways the industry strives to keep employees safe.
There are a number of mandatory safety training courses required before working on an offshore installation in Atlantic Canada, as outlined in the Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Industry Standard Practice for the Training and Qualifications of Personnel. This includes:
- Basic Survival Training provides workers with the knowledge and skills necessary to react effectively to an offshore emergency and to care for themselves and others in a survival situation;
- Helicopter Underwater Emergency Breathing Apparatus (HUEBA) training provides a theoretical and practical understanding of the compressed air HUEBA that is in use in the Atlantic Canada offshore petroleum industry;
- Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) is designed to provide theoretical and practical training in escaping from a submerged or partially submerged helicopter;
- Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) Awareness educates personnel about the dangers associated with hydrogen sulphide gas and the appropriate response measures to be taken should it be encountered;
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training provides advice on the safe handling, use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials in the workplace; and
- Regulatory Awareness Training outlines applicable safety-related legislation and regulations, and provides an overview of the regulatory regime for offshore oil and natural gas activity in Atlantic Canada.
Depending on the facility and the employee’s position, additional training may be required. Every individual, regardless of position or installation, also receives installation-specific instruction and training on operational and safety procedures, including those to be followed in an emergency.
Training Standards in Atlantic Canada
The Offshore Petroleum Boards in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, along with CAPP and the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC), voluntarily formed the Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Training and Qualifications Committee (TQC) to develop and maintain a standard practice for training and qualifications requirements for offshore personnel. The Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Industry Standard Practice for the Training and Qualifications of Personnel (or simply the Standard Practice) is reviewed, revised and published approximately every two years to reflect advancements in technology, changes in best practices locally and internationally, and new research findings.
The Standard Practice describes the minimum qualifications and certified safety training required of individuals working offshore. It outlines mandatory safety training for all personnel, training requirements related to emergency preparedness, specialized technical training, personnel qualifications and training for certain positions, and standby/support vessel personnel qualifications and training. Operators also develop their own training and competency requirements to address training requirements specific to their projects that are not covered in the Standard Practice. The Standard Practice does not, for example, cover all aspects of training and competency assurance as it relates to internal company procedures, processes and equipment.