De veiligheid en gezondheid van werknemers in de offshore en energy sector – en dan niet alleen op het gebied van reizen – zijn verreweg de meest kritische factoren van elk project. De garantie dat de meest waardevolle (lees hoogopgeleide) mensen naar de juiste locatie reizen, op de meest veilige en kosten effectieve manier, is het belangrijkste aspect van elke operatie in de oil & gas industrie.
Pieter Rieder, global head of energy and shipping van ATPI Griffinstone, vertelt waarom zorg voor de veiligheid van deze medewerkers zo belangrijk is. (Engelstalig)
“With extreme global weather conditions, political unrest, health scares and other sources of tension in countries across the world, the safety and security of travellers has never been more important. This is particularly true for businesses in offshore industries such as oil, gas and shipping, where travel can involve visiting some of the most inhospitable locations in the world. As well as providing an efficient and cost effective service, specialist travel management teams who have an in-depth knowledge of these sectors can be paramount to ensuring that workers are protected when they are travelling overseas or offshore.”
A key area of activity and management in crew travel concerns planning for the worst, and having the processes and people to manage an emergency situation. Increasingly in the offshore industry emergency response agreements with a travel provider are part of the standard contract, and no longer an additional extra. When something goes wrong, being able to respond to the situation and ensure safety now includes having a travel management partner as part of an incident team.
Travel management companies (TMC’s) who work with businesses in the offshore sector often partner with specialist third party organisations such as International SOS and AKE to provide additional support and care including in the event of medical emergencies or a security threat. The TMC acts as an important ‘integrator’ – providing relevant support for clients as part of one manageable duty of care package.
Organisations in the offshore and energy industries always take duty of care very seriously and other sectors can learn a lot from their practices. Most companies already have policies in place for the protection of employees when they are at their place of work such as on a remote oil rig in the middle of the North Sea. There is still a way to go when it comes to duty of care cover when employees are travelling to and from the rig itself or another work related destination however. Specialist TMCs can plug this gap and put emergency processes in place to deal with any eventuality, wherever the traveller is in the world, via data integration and traveller tracking technology.
Tracking and monitoring the passports and visas of a crew is also a key element of planning crew travel. Rieder adds, “From a business perspective it saves considerable time if visa services are integrated in crew travel planning. The ATPI CrewHub technology platform launched last year can help reduce staffing costs, increase booking speeds and minimise human error. ATPI CrewHub works in partnership with existing crew HR systems including SBNT, OCS and Seacrew, and enables companies to send traveller requests, vessel and trip information directly from their crew management systems. For example, if our team knows that a visa is experiencing a two day delay, we can make informed and proactive plans to manage around this rather than waiting to find out that the individual specialist expected to travel actually cannot enter the destination. By linking visa information with safety qualifications and shift scheduling at any one time we can provide the best possible advice on which crew movements make the most sense from health, safety and cost considerations.”
The ATPI Group recently developed a new working agreement with international port agency S5 Agency World to enhance their seamless service offered to clients within the shipping industry. The agreement has enabled the ATPI Group to offer an enhanced and more integrated approach to their crew travel arrangements. This means that all elements of travel for those joining ships are handled in via one technology platform ATPI CrewHub, including management of any taxis or launches required to reach vessels plus specific Immigration arrangements. It is the first time that such a comprehensive online tool has been available through an international travel management company.
Rieder concludes: “The offshore sector represents a large part of our business and we dedicate a great deal of our time and resources to seeking out new ways to make travel and crew transportation easier, safer and more cost effective for our clients.”