IOSH Helicopter safety event

Health and safety experts in East Anglia and MP Peter Aldous took part in a simulated helicopter ditching today aimed at highlighting the risks faced in rescues offshore.
The East Anglia Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) held the event at Petans safety training centre, in Norwich, to familiarise members with rescue operations carried out when a helicopter ditches at sea.
IOSH invited Mr Aldous after a discussion on offshore safety, at a Westminster parliamentary reception staged by the chartered body last year. The Conservative MP for Waveney has been a vocal supporter of the offshore renewable sector off the east coast of England. 
He said: “Offshore safety is hugely important and it’s vital that workers get the training they need at venues like Petans, to increase chances of survival if something goes wrong on the way to the platforms. 
“Today’s emergency training has been extremely useful, and it was fantastic to meet with members of the IOSH East Anglia Branch, who look after health and safety in businesses across the Waveney area from Lowestoft, Beccles and Bungay.” 
Last July, IOSH marked the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, in which 167 men died in explosions on the North Sea oil rig, by holding two receptions for parliamentarians, at Westminster and Holyrood. The events were to commemorate those who lost their lives – and highlight many of the health and safety issues still existent in offshore today.
Today’s workshop at Petans was held by members of IOSH, the world’s largest professional body in health and safety, to familiarise fellow practitioners with what should be done when a helicopter, used to ferry offshore workers, ditches.
Participants donned survival kits and entered the giant pool at Petans for training in dinghy drills and helirafts, and how to disembark from a stricken helicopter in water.
IOSH Past President and IOSH East Anglia Branch committee member Ray Hurst organised the event. He said: “The session showed us, from the safety professional’s point of view, what needs to be done once a helicopters gets into difficulties. It showed how people can survive a ditching and what they should do in a rescue situation.
“I had some really positive feedback from members, who gained a lot of invaluable knowledge from the day, and we were pleased to be able to invite Peter Aldous.”
James Wortley, Petans business development and marketing manager, said: “Health and safety forms a vital part of safe working practices in the oil and gas sector. We are delighted to be able to host this event and give IOSH members and Peter Aldous a taste of the more extreme hands-on safety training that we provide at Petans. “ 

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