The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
The KBA Training Centre asks, is it a skill set the industry will lose?
With the recent years of decline across all offshore oil and gas sectors, one of the most serious considerations, if not the most serious consideration that is now raising concerns is the competence of personnel and returning to work management.
The commercial diving industry is no different. In fact, it is at the higher end of the risk management considerations as the operational hazards have a direct impact on the safety of the diver. There is always the argument within the risk management process and hierarchy of controls to ‘not dive’ and conduct the work by other means. However, human interface in many subsea operations is always required and that requirement is not going away anytime soon.
There is no current research data on the numbers of commercial divers or diving supervisors who have left the industry over the last five years (yes, it has been five years since the change commenced), but we can be sure that our industry has lost a great deal of knowledge and competence over this period. To add to this dilemma, companies and individuals have not been training or keeping current with today’s latest industry guidance – safe practices – or maintaining their own skill sets as a diver or as a diving supervisor.
Commercial diver training and diving supervisor training have also been on an all-time low, with closures of commercial diving training centres in the UK and Australia adding to the challenges faced by the commercial diving industry.
The commercial diving industry now needs to look at several factors: embracing up-to-date technology pertaining to learning; embracing up-to-date technology for maintaining and demonstrating competence; establishing alternative means of training, such as collaboration between training providers and approving bodies; as well as adopting a long-term vision by investing in training that will yield a higher return of investment rather than the short-term perspective that is so evident in today’s industry.
Failure to act now will certainly lead to a greater skill set loss. Failure to implement robust Return to Work policies pertaining to retraining and assessment of skills will lead to personal injury and project failure. The question is: “What are you doing about developing your skills to enhance employability, or as a company, what are you doing about validating your personnel’s competence?”
Details – KBA Training Centre Pte Ltd; tel: +65 6542 4984; email: courses @kbatraining.org; website: www.kbatraining.org.