Offshore Helicopter Passenger Safety

Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry (OHSI) Implementation

On December 13, 2010, the C-NLOPB announced its implementation strategy for the OHSI Phase I recommendations. The strategy was developed by the C-NLOPB’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and officially adopted by the Board, and it involved the creation of an Aviation Team and a Safety Team to develop work plans for most of the recommendations (Terms of Reference available here). Team members came from the C-NLOPB, the operating companies, the offshore workforce, and the helicopter service provider. Letters were sent to the Operators advising them of the Board’s strategy. For seven of the 29 recommendations, the C-NLOPB requested that the Operators develop work plans.

The Aviation and Safety Teams soon realized that they worked best as one team, breaking into working groups for each recommendation based on their areas of expertise. Advice drafted for response to each recommendation was reviewed by the entire Team – known as the “OHSI Implementation Team”.

All Recommendations outlined in the Commissioners report have been implemented, with the exception of 12 – Night Flights – which are not being pursued by the C-NLOPB at this time, and 29(a) – the establishment of a separate safety regulator – which falls under the purview of governments.

The following OHSI Recommendation Implementation Status table provides the status of each recommendation.

Implementation Reports and Advising Documents

Recommendation 1: Dedicated first response helicopter

The action plan for Recommendation 1 was developed by the operators in conjunction with the Helicopter Service Provider.

On Dec 13, 2010, operators confirmed with the C-NLOPB that as of May 30, 2012, Cougar Helicopters First Response Search and Rescue (SAR) facility became operational.

As a world-class facility which far exceeds the global offshore industry requirement for emergency response, the new SAR Hangar provides the capability to launch the dedicated S-92 aircraft, with Rescue Specialists on-board, in 20 minutes during the scheduled times of offshore flights and 45 minutes thereafter.

The C-NLOPB CEO, Chief Safety Officer and Aviation Advisor completed an inspection of the facility and witnessed confirmation of the 20 minute launch capability. The C-NLOPB Aviation Advisor routinely visits the facility throughout the year and conducts an annual Helicopter Operations Safety Review (HOSR) audit.

Recommendation 2: First response goals
Recommendation 3: First response dispatch
Recommendation 4: DND/Cougar protocol
Recommendation 5: Worker familiarization
Recommendation 6: Personal accountability
Recommendation 7: Communication of incident reports, etc.
Recommendation 8: Pilot briefings
Recommendation 9: Operational requirements
Recommendations 10 and 16: On-board safety and equipment & additional personal protective equipment
Recommendation 11: Helicopter fleet size
Recommendation 12: Night flight
Recommendations 13 and 14: Safety training goals & worker fitness
Recommendation 15: Pilot helmets
Recommendations 17 and 18: Risk management assessment & ongoing verification of risk management
Recommendation 19: Safety culture
Recommendation 20: Worker/pilot involvement
Recommendation 21: C-NLOPB/CAPP relationship

The C-NLOPB has proposed, and the Operators have agreed, that, where the services of CAPP are appropriate to provide assistance in support of developing solutions to industry-wide initiatives or issues, the Operators will retain responsibility for ownership of the initiative or issue and will provide management, focus and discipline to ensure that the desired deliverables are achieved in a timely fashion.

Recommendations 22-24: Aviation expertise, oversight, and safety audits
Recommendation 25: Safety forums
Recommendation 26: Safety conferences
Recommendation 27: Research and development
Recommendation 28: Formal document review
Recommendation 29: Independent safety regulator

The C-NLOPB has forwarded Recommendation 29 to the provincial and federal governments for their consideration.