Tim Darley, owner and founder of DCI, was one of two keynote speakers at a special leadership seminar held by Falck Alford, Houston, Texas on 13 April 2010.
30 HSE professionals representing 26 different oil and gas companies gathered that morning to hear vital information on crisis management and Major Emergency Management (MEM) training from two subject matter experts.
Dr. Ragnar Vaernes, Falck Nutec, traveled from Norway to deliver an in-depth presentation entitled “Crisis Management in a 21st Century Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Industry”. A sought-after authority on crisis management and a highly respected author with over 145 articles in scientific journals to his credit, Dr. Vaernes holds numerous positions with various entities in Norway; notably, The Royal Norwegian Air Force where he supervises new flight instructors in observing, evaluating and debriefing stress reactions among pilots during flying and training in the flight simulators.
Dr. Vaernes’s presentation was well received as he spoke on a wide range of crisis management topics including risk analysis, contingency planning, duties of the crisis manager, and the affects of a crisis.
Tim Darley followed Dr. Vaernes with another topic of critical importance to the offshore oil and gas industry, “Major Emergency Management (MEM): Saving Lives and Reputations.” Tim chose the following key areas of MEM for discussion: What is Major Emergency Management (MEM), The Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) and An Emergency Free Workplace: Be Careful What You Wish For. The basic premise of Tim’s presentation was that the OIM is “key” to safe operations offshore and that emergency training, both ashore and at sea, must be frequent, realistic in nature, and involve the command team. While a qualified and senior technician within his discipline, the OIM must retain and effectively demonstrate superior leadership skills. Therefore, procedural gimmicks or bureaucratic schemes posing as new safety programs should be approached with caution by company management, vetted thoroughly and wisely discarded if they are unenforceable or emphasize a heavy reliance on “management” as opposed to action-oriented “leadership” standards.
As a testimonial to the stress and demands affecting an OIM during an emergency at sea, a DCI simulated exercise (blowout) was delivered in Falck Alford’s new simulator. It became increasingly obvious to the audience during the course of the simulation just how severely distracted and confused the OIM can become when placed under immense pressure. Regardless of the scope and magnitude of the emergency, the OIM, if not careful, can be diverted from his governing principle which is 1) the preservation of life: his crew and emergency response teams, and 2) if practical, sound damage control to save the rig.
An engaging question and answer session followed the exercise and the event was concluded with a tour of the Falck Alford facility.
For more information on DCI Major Emergency Management (MEM) or Leadership and Development Training, please click here.