The safe escape
Total Access had an exciting start to 2013 with the launch of its new Offshore S-Cape MK VI personal escape device.
The multi-disciplinary company, focusing on training, equipment sales and operational activities, has been working with the oil and gas industry for many years. It has recently updated a product that provides a safe and cost-effective option for offshore employees to escape in the event of an emergency that renders the standard evacuation systems obsolete. Aimed at those working on platforms, tankers, drill rigs and FPSO’s, the new S-Cape Mk VI uses basic abseiling techniques that can be performed safely by anyone with minimal training.
Ben Haughton, technical director at Total Access (UK) Ltd, explains the background behind the product: “It was first developed some 20 years ago following the Piper Alpha incident, where 167 people were killed. Following the tragedy, one of the items that required addressing was that, when all avenues of planned evacuation failed, it effectively left every person to fend for themselves. Getting access to the sea to escape a burning platform is an important issue because the evacuation route can be cut off. The requirement for personal descent devices was mentioned specifically by Lord Cullen in his report on the Piper Alpha disaster and this is where the term ‘tertiary escape’ has evolved from. The reason that this equipment is referred to as a means of escape is that ‘evacuation’ is part of a planned procedure. Escape simply means getting away from the danger. The rescue and recovery phase has yet to happen, this may be by life raft, fast rescue boat or helicopter, for example, but the process is not complete until a place of safety is found.”
The equipment was developed as a way to prevent future incidents in the oil and gas industry claiming so many lives. By listening to customer feedback and using new technology, the company is now launching the new and improved S-Cape Mk VI. The Mk VI offers a number of new safety features; it also provides a nine-year maintenance free service life by using military grade vacuum packaging. “By providing a packaging system that protects the equipment for the duration of its manufacturer guaranteed life, together with a very simple inspection regime, we are able to offer significant cost and safety benefits,” enthuses Ben.
An employee qualified to Offshore S-Cape Mk VI User Level can carry out on-site inspection of the revised product, and those results can then be recorded onto the Total Access (UK) Ltd Customer Asset Tracking (CAT) system. “CAT is a database that allows us to track any uniquely identified item that we sell. This means we can better support our customers and when items are due for service or inspection we can automatically flag this up to them,” says Ben.
To ensure the complete safety of its customers when using the equipment, Total Access (UK) Ltd has designed a comprehensive training suite as part of the Offshore S-Cape Mk VI package. This is simple to deliver by training providers and clients alike, who can have their own staff trained as instructors. The training suite is fully supported by Total Access (UK) Ltd using a DVD platform, online and telephone assistance. Proud of the Offshore S-Cape Mk VI, Ben highlights: “It provides the highest degree of user safety, great flexibility and is a very cost effective package compared to our closest competitor.”
With a booming start to 2013, Ben has key goals for the next three to five years: “There are a number of objectives that we set ourselves at the beginning of the year, with the Offshore S-Cape Mk VI, from a product perspective, being something we are really focusing on. We are also looking at an aggressive expansion of Total Access over the next few years, and will be expanding our premises here in Staffordshire accordingly. The full implementation of our CAT system is, of course, another major project we have for 2013.” The company is looking to further develop its training, equipment and operational services by continuing to add products that are complimentary with its core business.
Having established itself as the UK’s leading provider of height safety and confined spaces support services over the past 20 years, Total Access is currently in a very healthy condition and estimates a sales growth of ten per cent in 2013. With its dedication to customers, and unrivalled experience in providing high quality, safe solutions, Total Access is sure to continue reaching the heights of great success.
Total Access (UK) Ltd
Services: Height safety support