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    IMCA issues guidance on operational communications during lifting operations

    Publications // July 14, 2008

    Lifting plays a key role in almost every marine contracting operation, making the new guidance on operational communications in lifting operations published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) relevant to a variety of operations including quayside, on-deck, subsea, between platform and ship, ship-to-ship, small craft launch and recovery, and drilling operations.

    “Lifting operations involve human decisions and actions and good communication is the key to ensuring that personnel involved in the lifting operation work effectively and safely as a team,” explained Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA. “’Guidance on Operational Communications: Part 2 – Lifting Operations’ is designed as an essential worktool to aid safety."

    “Preparation is needed for all lifting tasks and from the initial stages communications planning plays an important part. Communications failures are a common root cause of lifting incidents and thus highlight the importance of addressing communications issues at the risk assessment and planning stages, and then again at the toolbox talk; and ensuring that clear communication throughout an operation is a prime focus of all in the lifting team. We envisage the new guidance being used by members in order to review, and possibly enhance, their own in-house documentation.”

    Following a brief introduction and definition of key terms, ’Guidance on Operational Communications: Part 2 - Lifting Operations’ provides general guidance on communication aspects of lift planning - the actual lift planning itself is addressed in more detail in IMCA’s ‘Guidelines for Lifting Operations’, and users should also refer to ‘Operational communications: Part 1 - Bridge and dive control’.  The new guidance document is published in a colourful, illustrated format that includes diagrams showing communication flows and systems. There are sections devoted to procedures; equipment; human-machine interaction; types of lifting operation; and to useful reference books.

    Members, who have each received a copy of the new publication, can download the new guidance (IMCA SEL 020/ M 193) free of charge from IMCA’s members-only website. Printed copies cost £15 for members and £30 for non-members (plus 20% for delivery outside Europe, where applicable).

    Further information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its 490+ member companies in over 50 countries is available from; from and from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.

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