Our Commitment to Health & Safety

Platform Safety Features
Platform Evacuation System
Immersion Suits
Helicopter Safety Features
Safety Training

Effective January 1, 2003 Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) adopted the policies, procedures, systems and business controls of ExxonMobil Canada.   An example of one of the adopted Best Practices is the Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS). OIMS is a systematic, structured, disciplined approach to the reduction of safety, health, environmental and associated security risks in HMDC's activities.   Its focus is on identifying hazards and managing risks.

Safety has been and continues to be an integral part of the way Hibernia conducts its business. Lessons learned from other offshore developments have been incorporated into the design and operability of the Hibernia production facilities.

Safety is a consideration in every decision made by all personnel working with Hibernia. Accidents are not an expected outcome of the job, and every precaution is taken to prevent them. The primary goal is "Nobody Gets Hurt".   Every team member is expected to identify hazards and take appropriate action to ensure that no hazards are left unattended. Audits and inspection of Hibernia work places and activities are conducted on a continuing basis.

Platform Safety Features

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The concrete GBS caisson and production platform incorporate a number of significant safety features in their design.

  • One of the most important safety features of the Hibernia platform is the temporary safe refuge (TSR) area in the M-50 accommodations module. The TSR provides protected direct access to emergency evacuation systems and provides physical protection for personnel against the effects of fire, heat, smoke and gas.
  • Early detection is a key defense against the danger of gas leaks and fire. For this reason, there are literally thousands of highly-sensitive smoke, fire and gas detectors located all over the platform. The detectors are spaced very closely so that, in the event of fire, smoke or a gas leak, two or more sensors will trigger simultaneously and shut down production automatically.
  • In the event that there is a fire or gas leak, the platform deluge system will be triggered. The deluge system pours thousands of gallons of water per minute over the affected areas. Some areas also have aqueous fire fighting foam as part of the deluge. This deluge system can effectively smother a fire or minimize the possibility of gas ignition.

Platform Evacuation Systems

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The platform has two fully operational and certified evacuation systems - lifeboats and liferafts.
  • A system of enclosed lifeboats provides capacity for evacuation of the personnel on the platform. The lifeboats are capable of traveling through fire conditions on the water.
  • Escape chutes with tethered life rafts provides an alternate means of evacuation for the people on the platform.  Personnel move down the Selantic Skyscape escape chutes from the platform to self-inflating life rafts attached to the bottom of the chute. There are three chutes on the platform - two at the main lifeboat stations and one at the auxiliary lifeboat station - with each chute having four 25 person life rafts.

Immersion Suits

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Also known as "survival suits", immersion suits are probably the single most important piece of safety equipment for people working offshore.

The type of immersion suits which are used on the platform are approved Marine Abandonment Immersion Suits, available at the lifeboat stations and in individual cabins, and approved Helicopter Passenger Immersion Suits, which are worn by all individuals flying to and from the platform. This means there are two suits kept in storage for every person on the platform.

Both the survival suit and flight suit are without parallel in their thermal protection, flotation and comfort. In fact, they exceed Canadian standards for thermal protection. Suits are equipped with a whistle and high-intensity light to attract attention.

Helicopter Safety Features

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The Sikorsky-S92 helicopters operated by Cougar Helicopters Inc., are among the safest in the industry. A number of technical and safety innovations have been built into the aircraft, including some that are   designed for and unique to the offshore environment.
  • Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology is employed as a navigation aid which is particularly valuable in low-visibility conditions. Specialized auto pilot systems also assist pilots during poor weather approaches to the platform and airport in St. John's.
  • Helicopter deicing systems allow the S-92's to fly in icing conditions common in this operating environment. The system prevents in-flight icing of critical surfaces on the aircraft including rotor blades and engine inlets.
  • Cougar maintains a response capability around the clock to ensure quick mobilization in the event of an emergency. In other words, trained personnel are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to a variety of incidents, such as a medical evacuation (medevac) from the platform. A response time of 30 minutes or less will be maintained at all times during periods of flight activity and 60 minutes thereafter.

Safety Training

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All Hibernia workers are required to undergo a rigorous survival training course and to renew this training on a regular basis. The survival  course provides training in the use of evacuation  equipment as well as practical evacuation  procedures. Workers receive training in underwater helicopter evacuation and Helicopter Underwater Emergency Breathing Apparatus (HUEBA) at the Marine Institute's Offshore Safety and Survival Centre in Foxtrap. Where appropriate, personnel are trained in helideck fire fighting, transportation of dangerous goods and other task-specific activities.

Emergency muster drills are a regular feature of life on the platform. All personnel are summoned to their muster stations by emergency drills at least once per week. There is a Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee with representation from the offshore system teams. The committee closely monitors all health, safety and environmental issues on the platform. As well, a behavior-based Safety Training Observation Program (STOP) has been implemented for all offshore workers.
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