Safe Swing Rope and Personnel Basket Transfers for Offshore Oil Industry Personnel
Working in the offshore oil and gas industry can be rewarding and challenging. One of the experiences that can be particularly challenging, especially for new workers, is transferring to and from vessels. This is usually accomplished by utilizing gangways, swing ropes, or personnel baskets. These devices have been used by the industry for many years, and, with training, they can be used very safely.
The first transfer you make, and the last transfer you make when working offshore, is from the dock to the boat or the boat to the dock. At many shore bases, a gangway is provided for this purpose. A gangway is ideal for boarding or disembarking in the protected waters of a dock or slip.
Even though gangways are usually very secure and stable, it is mandatory that you wear a properly fastened personal flotation device, also referred to as a PFD, to provide flotation in the event of a fall into the water.
Before you use a gangway, you should perform a quick inspection to make sure there are no obvious safety hazards, such as damaged handrails or loose materials on the walking surface. Also, check both ends of the gangway to make sure there is adequate overhang and that the ends are secured.
If you decide it is safe to proceed, keep one hand free to hold on to the handrail as you walk Carefully step off of the gangway, keeping in mind that it may not be completely flush with the deck.
At some shore bases, there is no gangway, so you have to transfer from the dock to the boat by climbing over the stern or the side, which may be equipped with tires. If you have to climb over the stern or the side, the boat should be secured to the dock. This will make climbing easier, and it will reduce the chances of you falling between the boat and the dock.
Regardless of how you get on the boat, remember you must report to the cabin, sign the manifest, and pay close attention to the safety briefing. After everyone is aboard and all materials are loaded, the boat will head for the job site. Upon reaching the offshore facility, you will have to use another method of transfer; either a swing rope or a personnel basket.
A swing rope is commonly used to transfer personnel from boats to the landing area of the platform. Using a swing rope can be demanding, especially in moderate to heavy sea conditions.