A Normal Day in Esbjerg

It’s the sort of thing you do every day, fight a fire, navigate through a smoke-filled container, escape from a helicopter underwater . . . well not quite.

There is one particularly simple and satisfying moment on the BOSIET course – Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training – especially for those frequent flyers who listen attentively to the on board safety instructions. Somehow you always trust the information that the life vest is under your seat. You don’t tend to see people feeling around to check the stewards are not joking, but what you never get to do is to pull the rip cord and inflate, until that is, end of day two on BOSIET. Not as forceful, immediate or substantial as the car air bag, but from zero to full the self-inflating jacket is impressive.

Survival is what BOSIET is all about and why it is mandatory for those working offshore. But there is much more to it, there is a lot of attention put into getting you into a frame of mind to help avoid accidents through good house-keeping and common sense.

The Fear of Danger

Common sense can get you a long way with this course. On day one there’s a tick-the-boxes test where you have to get at least 14 of the 18 questions right before moving on, but plain common sense will get you half way there. The rest is nudged into you in a classroom. Then there’s a day-long session in and out of the pool with life rafts, survival suits, escape shuts and, of course, HUET – Helicopter Underwater Escape Training, once upon a time a separate course but now integrated.

It is here you learn a lot about yourself and your temporary colleagues. There is no danger, just the fear of danger – with one-to-one expert support there is no need for fear. Uncertainty is the embryo of fear and the thought of being submerged in a tin can that revolves 180 degrees, is perhaps the single most destabilising aspect for some course participants – until they do it. Hanging upside down, strapped in and with limited air, it is surprisingly easy, like stepping out of bed in the morning and being swept upwards.

Right Way Up

When the chopper ditches the right way up and fills with water you need more force to avoid being pulled up onto the ceiling and then having to struggle against buoyancy to get out the window to safety.

On board an offshore installation, rig or production platform, there is no room for observers. Everyone must be able to be able and the final day covers aspects which have a value everywhere, First Aid and firefighting. Different parts of the world require different qualifications, but once over this last hurdle you are ‘good to go’ as they say for four years. Not four years and a day – certain aspects of BOSIET are very strict and if you miss your deadline you can’t simply do the one day refresher, you must do all three. Miss any part of the course, sleeping in, car breakdown, and like snakes and ladders you go to the bottom and start all over again.

In addition to BOSIET for the Danish sector you need the Blue Book medical check which is every two years and for a Maersk installation visit you also need to pass an online test that takes about three hours. The whole process is time consuming, but you do leave with a more rounded feeling and a greater natural awareness for safety and survival at home, work and play. Better Off Safe In Every Thing – BOSIET, is a normal day in Esbjerg.

Though HUET is integrated into BOSIET it is also a 1-day stand-alone course for the wind turbine industry.