New Frontiers – New Safety Risk Management Challenges for Helicopter Operators - Baines Simmons
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New Frontiers – New Safety Risk Management Challenges for Helicopter Operators

Why five North Sea helicopter accidents in four years are unlikely to change anything unless helicopter operators fully embrace safety leadership and take a new approach to managing and addressing human factors.

Keven Baines was invited to be a guest speaker at the recent European Helicopter Operators Committee (EHOC) Annual Conference and AGM. He used the occasion to discuss the impact of the CAA’s forthcoming radical changes to the rules governing the use of helicopters to support the offshore oil and gas industry as outlined in their 293-page report – CAP 1145. His paper, titled ‘New Frontiers – New Safety Risk Management Challenges’ explores the fundamental weaknesses in the system – that of weak safety leadership and the need to manage the human in the system risks through effective error management programmes. You can view his presentation here.

The CAA has announced a series of measures (CAP 1145) to improve the safety of offshore helicopter flights. The changes – some of which are to be implemented as early as June 2014 – are the result of a comprehensive review of offshore helicopter operations undertaken in conjunction with the Norwegian CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and advised by a panel of independent experts.

Commenting on Keven’s presentation, Tony Jones, CEO of British International Helicopters, said: “As usual Keven’s presentation was delivered in a professional manner, held the audience’s attention and was focussed on the topic which the EHOC Council had asked him address. There was interest from all segments of the audience, culminating in a special Q&A session on the second day of the Conference, which had to be added to the programme to satisfy the discussion points Keven raised. Keven can be relied upon to deliver in an exciting style, always challenging the audience to take a fresh approach to the management of safety, which is stimulating for all delegates attending. He would be “ever-present” on any Safety-related event that I help to organise in the future.”

Mark Stevens, VP Aircraft and Managing Director of Shell Aircraft International further commented: “I felt Keven was ‘spot on’ in delivering a difficult message to a group who needed to hear it! The EHOC members need to be challenged if we are to achieve real and lasting improvements in offshore helicopter aviation safety, and Keven did this most effectively. His hard-hitting message about safety leadership was one I support fully, and I think at least some of the audience understood what they need to do to address the issues.