Posted on: April 8, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Oil and gas employers worldwide will train 1.5-million workers in safety, to International Minimum Industry Training Standards (IMIST) from mid 2011 to 2013.

Oil, gas, exploration and petrochemicals production health and safety training is being standardised by a training contractor, Atlas Interactive, including training materials and technology worth US$5-million in the first year, 2011 to 2012.

The UK based standardised safety course content was developed by OPITO, a UK based skills body that ensures oil and gas safety and competency. The international exercise is one of the petrochemicals industry’s responses to major oil rig and refinery disasters in recent years, like Texas City refinery, Sasol refinery, Texas Gulf Horizon, and others.

An international version of a UK Minimum Industry Training Standards (MIST) safety induction programme that OPITO and Atlas have piloted with 48 000 oil and gas workers since 2009, is being developed for the sector.

The new programme would standardise safety training for experienced oil and petrochem workers around the world. Some oil and exploration workers are migrants, with South African and Australian workers among migrant labour in the Texas Gulf, Africa, and other oil regions.

Standardised safety training would eliminate duplication and allow an international induction certification system.

Oil safety by e-learning

IMIST will be launched in the Middle East in 2011 July, then implemented in 30 countries in Asia, Africa and USA. It will be delivered via e-learning and tailored to each region’s educational, language and infrastructure needs.
Training is delivered and undertaken via internet, served by an assessment diagnostic named Fast Track. Learners are assessed for knowledge gaps under time bound conditions.

Oil safety course content is delivered individually, based on knowledge gaps, aiming for full job safety competency. Compared to 14 hours of classroom training, the new course should take two hours of e-learning.

Learners can take the course at home, office or a learning centre, at any time.

Atlas CE John Rowley said the groundbreaking petrochemicals health and safety training initiative follows a competitive tender process, and indicates oil employers’ willingness to embrace new technologies.

In emerging oil markets like Africa, Atlas had already secured training projects with national and international oil employers.

IMIST safety training modules

The new IMIST course contains nine modules, including;
Introduction to Hazardous Offshore Environment
Working Safely (including Safety Observations Systems)
Understanding Risk Assessment Process
Tasks that Require Permit to Work
Personal Responsibility in Maintaining Asset Integrity
Using Manual Handling Techniques Every Day
Controlling Use of Hazardous Substances (COSHH)
Knowledge and Practices of Working at Height
Awareness of Mechanical Lifting Activities

OPITO works with states, oil companies, multinationals and petrochem contractors to standardise and develop workforce skills, emergency response, occupational health and safety qualifications, and training quality assurance.

David Doig, CEO of OPITO group, said current basic safety training varies dramatically from region to region. “Oil and gas workers should have confidence that their colleagues share the same level of safety training.”

Atlas contract coup

Atlas Interactive, founded in 1995, acquired private equity investment from HG Capital in 2007.

Atlas e-learning clients already include 350 000 workers in 600 companies, across 35 countries, in 20 languages. The training company employs only 68 people, based at Offshore House, Science and Energy Park, Aberdeen, with offices in the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

IMAGE; One of the oil rig graphics used in OPITO IMIST e-learning training modules.

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