A project aimed at improving safety on the decks of open-stern vessels was due to publish its final report in May, as this issue of OSJ went to press
A report has been compiled by MMA Offshore, which operates a fleet of 33 OSVs, in response to an accident off Western Australia in July 2015 in which a crewmember suffered fatal injuries when securing deck cargo in poor weather. A large wave had come over the vessel’s stern and a seafarer was crushed by moving containers.
MMA Offshore general manager fleet operations Australasia Richard Furlong told OSJ that, with industry support from three major oil and gas companies, it had developed what it calls a Wave Breaker Safety System (WBSS). The project “combines MMA Offshore’s innovation and safety culture with the aim of delivering a safer workplace on board open-stern vessels,” he said.
The WBSS consists of a flexible mesh barrier that reduces the volume and force of green water entering the back deck and will incorporate an advanced alarm system. Several in-field trials have been conducted on MMA Offshore vessels and a study and testing programme has been completed by the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory. In early May, the WBSS underwent its final testing stages at the laboratory, during which a presentation was made to the industry support group.