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    IMCA looks forward to ONS 2008

    Organisations and Associations // August 4, 2008

    Norway’s biennial ONS exhibition is a key date for the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) who will be exhibiting at ONS 2008 in Hall J, Stand 1057.

    “ONS plays a vital role as far as showcasing technology; stimulating the market to hire and use the new capabilities; encouraging recruitment into this exciting sector; and providing a forum for inter-industry discussion,” said Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA, the global trade association that represents over 500 offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies in more than 50 countries.

    “With some £17 billion worth of new vessels shortly coming into service or at the design stage, we are particularly looking forward to meeting the Norwegian-based designers, builders and operators who are forging ahead with some of the newest top of the range OSVs in the market; and those responsible for the new tugs, supply and anchor handling vessels being built or designed - and, of course, the all important supply chain that supports them all."

    "We know that the design, procedures, auditing guidance we have in place are key to ensuring that the lessons of the past are shared for the benefit of both the new vessels and the new personnel who will serve aboard them. Indeed, IMCA plays a vital role in ensuring that all concerned can ‘hit the ground running’.”

    Concern about skills shortages is a subject topping the IMCA agenda. “To operate these new construction vessels, we need some 2000 additional watch-keepers across the bridge, deck and engine room; 800 personnel in saturation diving and related positions; 1000 additional survey and inspection personnel; 1200 ROV personnel and many other diving, support, project and engineering personnel, we now have an interactive website at designed to attract new entrants to the industry; and are promoting the opportunities worldwide,” explained Williams.

    “Zero injuries remains the ‘holy grail’ of the offshore industry. Therefore, all these people, new recruits to the industry, must be capable of absorbing the available knowledge and taking on board industry safety objectives. Training must continue across the board to keep them safe.”

    IMCA’s role in disseminating information

    The new fleet and its personnel will need to learn from the collective wisdom of the past. This is contained in new design codes which have been greatly improved since much of the current fleet was built. 

    But a considerable contribution comes from the equipment specifications, procedures and personnel competence described within IMCA’s good practice guidelines. 

    These also address trials and commissioning; ‘failure modes and effects’ analyses; audit and maintenance programmes developed on past successes and occasionally from past incidents; and the development and recognition of competence in the workforce.

    IMCA is well set to build strong foundations for the new fleet and people who will be joining the industry. The association has published well over 200 guidelines relevant throughout the world. 

    The most pertinent may be DP for supply vessels (and other DP documents including incident analyses); the Common Marine Inspection Document; Training and competence framework; Crane specifications and lifting operations; Maintenance of wire ropes; Communications (bridge and dive control); Incident investigation; Vessel and personnel security (including ISPS); as well as the suite of diving documents which support IMCA’s International code of practice for offshore diving.

    There are specific guidelines relating to various aspects of safety, and also the much used safety promotional material aimed at individuals within the industry, but safety and efficiency are the goals of the content of almost all IMCA guidelines.

    “IMCA is not a regulator, or ‘industry policeman’ but has a strong reputation as a knowledge centre and sharer of knowledge. Indeed, our suite of material is a library of ‘knowledge’ as it encompasses knowledge aimed externally at government, meda and the public; knowledge aimed at members (good practice); emerging knowledge (research and innovation); sharing knowledge (training at all career stages, learning from one another through incident reporting and by participating in events such as ONS),” explained Williams. 

    “We’re looking forward to many a challenging and far reaching discussion at ONS, and to this debate resulting in resolutions to ensure the enlarged offshore fleet can operate optimally – and safely.”

    Further information is available from IMCA on their ONS stand; at and from IMCA at t Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; email:



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