There are increasing amounts of guidance, verification services and certification involved in dynamic positioning (DP) that should lead to safer operations, but do they?
Presentations at this year’s Riviera Maritime Media’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference, held in London on 5 February, suggest that additional guidance in the area of DP has led to improvements in safety and operator competence.
At the conference International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) technical adviser Andy Goldsmith outlined how the reporting of incidents and station keeping events is improving safety across the offshore sector. It provides management with important feedback and helps to steer training.
He said there had been increasing numbers of companies, 40 in 2018, involved in this initiative, with around 145 incidents reported last year. The majority of these incidents were due to issues with propulsion, human factors, DP control computers or loss of position reference.
This year, IMCA will be introducing its DP practitioner accreditation scheme. This is aimed at improving consistency when conducting DP trials. It sets a minimum level of knowledge for DP subject matter experts, according Mr Goldsmith, who said: “Our aim is to improve the consistency of DP trials; the objectives need a lot of assistance from industry, to ensure DP trial practitioners are accredited to maintain and increase their knowledge base.”
He explained how this assessment involves multi-choice examinations in eight modules, split into four groups, including DP documentation and technical knowledge. “Once accredited, there should be revalidation every three years,” he said.
There is a review ongoing in 2019 of the IMCA M190 guidance to ensure industry requirements are addressed, including remote DP trials, incremental trials and the impact of the DP accreditation scheme on remote DP trials.
“There will be a review of the IMCA DP station keeping reporting scheme and getting more input from people using DP offshore,” added Mr Goldsmith. IMCA is also updating guidance on position reference systems.