April 23, 2020

OGUK today confirmed it is supporting the roll-out of a special protective face covering designed for workers travelling to offshore installations in the UK Continental Shelf.

The covering can be best described as a snood or buff and is better suited for helicopter travel because it is easier to pull away from the mouth if the emergency breathing equipment is required, it is more comfortable to wear, communication is easier and the risk of FOD (Foreign Object Debris ) damage is eliminated, i.e. objects being sucked into a helicopters engine intakes.

OGUK has been working on the use of the snood for the offshore workforce through its Pandemic Steering Group. It has been tested for surface and underwater escape purposes and its use is endorsed by the four helicopter companies. The process will be managed by Survitec who are procuring supplies for use by the offshore industry at all helicopter departure locations, with guidance on the use of the snoods issued by OGUK shortly.

The snood is for use on the flight only, and forms part of a range of measures to support the safety offshore workforce.

OGUK HSE Director Trevor Stapleton:

“All workers travelling offshore will be issued with a protective snood following their routine temperature check at the heliport. The snood will then be worn in the heliport and for the duration of travel both to and from the installation only. They are single use and personnel will be issued with a new snood for each trip offshore.

“The snood represents just one of the barriers being employed to mitigate and manage COVID-19 across our essential workforce. Robust checks prior to mobilisation, temperature testing and testing are also in use alongside additional measures to protect the workforce whilst offshore including social distancing, staggered mealtimes, and where possible single person cabin occupancy. Taken together we’ve got a comprehensive response but we continue to develop this through listening to our people and continuing to push for expanded testing capability across our workforce.”

Ross Johnston, Energy Sales Manager, Survitec:
“After OGUK approached us as the primary supplier of PPE and safety equipment to the aviation industry, we identified the Virustatic Shield as an appropriate product for people travelling on all UK Category A and Category B helicopter flights. We are pleased to support the industry by sourcing, procuring and supplying the Virustatic Shield to help reduce the risk for our customers and keep crews, passengers and offshore personnel safe.”

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