SPE Award for Survitec Group
Two safety and survival systems developed for use in the UK’s offshore sector by the Survitec Group were recognised for their industry-leading importance when they won the Safety Innovations Award in the recent Offshore Achievement Award organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
The Safety Innovations Award recognises excellence in innovative technology and products that have been developed in the UK and which contribute to offshore safety. In particular, it looks at how they contribute to the overall objective of improving individual, plant or operational safety in the offshore energy sector (oil and gas and all forms of renewables).
In 2014, the Survitec Group developed two very different systems for its important offshore energy markets – the Survitec Offshore Mass Evacuation System (MES) which provides the offshore industry with a significantly improved evacuation system and the world’s first Category A Emergency Breathing System (Cat A EBS) for helicopter transit passengers. Developed in the first instance for use in the North Sea, both systems have scope for global application.
Greg Allanach, European MD of Survitec, said the new systems each brought significant safety improvements to the offshore industry’s safety equipment.
“Safety of the personnel who work offshore in what can often be a harsh and challenging environment is paramount in the industry and as a company we are committed to looking at how we can continue to enhance and improve safety and survival systems,” he said. “We have a long history of innovation and we are delighted that the work we continue to do has been recognised by this very prestigious industry-specific award.”
The MES is the only system in the market which can be fully deployed in under a minute and which can evacuate up to 150 people at a time from topside on an offshore installation to sea-level via a fully enclosed fire and smoke protected escape chute directly into a single capacity liferaft. The big advantage of the Survitec Offshore MES system over other chutes previously on the market is that it is 100% automatically inflated requiring no personnel intervention and it provides direct entry into the liferaft via a unique revolving landing podium providing a fully enclosed evacuation process, protecting personnel from the elements and from the open sea at all times.
The world’s first Category A Emergency Breathing System (EBS) was developed by Survitec in response to the CAA Helicopter Safety Review which followed the government’s Transport Select Committee inquiry into helicopter safety at the end of 2013 following a fatal crash in the waters off Shetland. The requirement for a Cat EBS, which would be mandatory for all personnel travelling offshore from the UK, was one of 70 actions and recommendations contained in the report. Survitec worked closely with the oil and gas industry to develop the news system within a very tight timescale.
The two new safety products for the offshore industry are the latest world leading innovations to come from Survitec in its 160 year history. These have ranged from the original “Mae West” life jacket to the world’s first inflatable liferaft
Other key products within Survitec’s portfolio include marine, defence and aviation liferafts, world leading submarine escape technology, lifejackets for commercial airlines and the offshore industry as well as pilot flight equipment, including anti-g clothing used for the Eurofighter and JSF programmes. The Group also pioneered marine evacuation technology and today the unique MarinArk system is used on many major cruise ships across the globe.