The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has expanded its ‘Guidelines for Walk to Work (W2W) Operations’ (IMCA M254). Originally published in October 2020, the guidelines were produced to help standardise the way in which vessels give personnel safe access to offshore structures, both in the wind and oil & gas industries, and were developed under the direction of IMCA’s Marine Division Management Committee.

Vessel owners, wind farm operators and motion compensated gangway manufacturers worked alongside an offshore energy industry focused steering group consisting of representatives from leading manufacturers of motion compensated gangway systems to develop the guidelines.

The document was originally published containing just two of six planned appendices while the industry steering group concentrated on developing the remaining appendices over an additional 12 months, representing an excellent example of industry collaboration.

– The IMCA guidelines, covering W2W operations, has been extremely well received by industry during the past twelve months. The finalising of the appendices provides additional information, direct from the manufacturers of motion compensated gangways, to further improve operational efficiency and safety standards for the offshore energy sector – Captain Andy Goldsmith, Technical Adviser – Marine at IMCA commented.

The guidelines now include nine sections covering walk to work motion compensated gangway operations for the offshore energy industry. The document advises on choosing the appropriate vessel and gangway as well as operational planning which includes gangway maintenance and ensuring the competence of key personnel. The guidelines also cover emergency preparedness including details on the IMCA incident reporting scheme and how to contribute lessons learned.

The six appendices cover emergency protocols, a framework for hazard identification, training and experience requirements, a safety report template, an induction curriculum, and guidelines covering workability analysis.

Source: IMCA