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Audit of emergency preparedness and helicopter deck – Yme MOPUStor

During the period 31 May – 1 June 2010, the PSA carried out an audit of the Yme Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPUStor) at the shipyard in Abu Dhabi. The audit was directed toward the technical solutions for the helicopter deck and emergency preparedness on the facility. We identified ten nonconformities and two improvement items.

The audit was carried out with assistance from the Civil Aviation Authority – Norway (CAA).

The audit was connected to Talisman Energy Norge AS' (TENAS') upcoming application for consent to use Yme. During the audit, the facility was undergoing commissioning at the shipyard in Abu Dhabi. Activity with this facility on the Norwegian continental shelf is planned to start in 2010.

The goal of this task was to identify how the outlined philosophy for the design of the facility is implemented at the shipyard, how findings from the June 2009 audit are followed up and verifying that TENAS is ensuring that the Yme facility is built in accordance with regulatory requirements within the area of emergency preparedness.

We identified several serious nonconformities during the audit relating to management and evacuation routes. The nonconformities related to evacuation routes were identified during the audit of Yme in June 2009. The same nonconformities have been found during this audit in 2010.

We identified ten nonconformities and two improvement items. The nonconformities are related to management of health, safety and the environment, evacuation routes, marking and signage, placement of fire-fighting equipment and factors concerning the helicopter deck. We identified two improvement items related to the helicopter deck.


The person responsible has not safeguarded the management of health, safety and the environment or safety related to design and marking of the evacuation routes.

The nonconformities relating to evacuation routes and marking of evacuation routes were identified one year ago and were addressed in the audit dated 3 July 2009. These issues have not been rectified during the year that has passed.

Evacuation routes
Requirements for obstruction-free passage for transport of an injured person on a stretcher and personnel wearing portable breathing equipment are not met in several places on the facility. Evacuation routes are not free of protrusions.

We observed several places on the facility where, pipes, valves, collecting tanks, kickboards and instrumentation obstruct the evacuation routes. There are constrictions in several places that make it difficult or impossible to transport an injured person on a stretcher or to manoeuvre wearing smoke diver equipment. At the time of the audit, no marking has been carried out of protrusions in evacuation routes. We are aware that the facility is not ready for operation at the time of this audit.

These nonconformities were identified during the audit in June 2009 and are described in the audit report from July 2009.

Marking of evacuation routes
Marking of evacuation routes is not sufficiently visible and is also not easy to understand.

The PSA cannot see that there is an understanding of how to mark an evacuation route and neither is there any familiarity with Norwegian regulations for evacuation routes. We registered evacuation routes that are dead ends according to the facility's marking and it would also be difficult to navigate the facility based on the existing marking. Marking of evacuation routes is not sufficiently visible and also not easily understandable as regards the process and areas on the facility. The sign marking was not complete on the entire facility at the time of the audit, but where the marking is complete in the mentioned areas, it is not adequately visible nor is it easily understandable. There is no uniform width for the yellow evacuation routes. The evacuation route width varied greatly and seems to be governed by available space rather than a clear, planned philosophy. Many access routes are marked with white stripes. In several locations, the markings are not easily understandable or there is a missing transition from marked access routes to evacuation routes.

Evacuation routes
Evacuation routes are not defined for all areas.

During spot checks, we discovered that the distance to an evacuation route can be substantial from some areas. Evacuation routes are marked yellow and access routes with white stripes. There is not a clear connection between the two. The interpretation letter dated 26 June 2003 regarding Section 12 of the Facilities Regulations relating to materials handling and transport routes, access and evacuation routes provides further information regarding requirements for evacuation routes, their design and relationship to the use of maritime regulations.

Storage and placement of fire-fighting equipment
The fire-fighting equipment is not stored in at least four locations.

The plan is to store the fire-fighting equipment in a fire station in the living quarters and a fire station near the helideck. We were informed during the audit that an exemption has been applied for from the flag state, which has grated this. An exemption application must be sent to the PSA for processing.

Turbulence conditions
Turbulence conditions for the helicopter deck could not be documented.

Turbulence conditions are not documented by wind tunnel tests or a simulation model.

Obstruction in obstruction-free approach and departure sector
There are obstructions in the 210 and 180 degree obstruction-free sectors.

The communication mast deck and antenna were in the 210 degree sector. An access platform in the 180 degree sector had installed a platform for mounting the radar which protruded three metres from the edge of the deck. (We were told that the plan was to move this under the helideck.)

There is no documentation verifying that the paint used on the helicopter deck is fire retardant.

Documentation could not be produced during the audit.

Drain scupper
The drain scupper around the helicopter deck is not continuous.

Sheets have been mounted on top of the drain scupper and out to the storage ramp for mobile extinguishing equipment around the helicopter deck. This can lead to foam and possible burning fuel not being collected in the drain scupper, but rather lead over the edge of the helicopter deck.

Marking obstructions
Obstructions in the 150 degree obstruction-free sector are not marked.

None of the obstructions in the 150 degree obstruction-free sector are marked with contrast colours (yellow/black stripes).

Marking with red lights
The required red lights were not installed on the crane boom.

The required red lights were not installed on the crane boom. According to the electrical one line diagram, there is no plan to install the required red lights on crane booms. This also seems to be the case for the Flarestack.

Improvement items

Marking of helicopter deck
The marking is not adequately visible from all approach angles.

The marking is not in contrast colours and the helicopter deck is covered by a thin layer of sand.

Foam extinguishing system for the helicopter deck
We could not verify that the foam extinguishing system is functional and delivers the necessary amount of foam to the helicopter deck.

Documentation could not be produced from a verification test of the foam extinguishing system.