Offshore industry resources

The following links may be useful for health and safety practitioners with offshore responsibilities. By using these links, you will move to external sites. IOSH and its Offshore Group are not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

If you know of web sites that may be of interest to members please contact us with details.

Offshore Group Priorities 


Offshore Personnel Transfers

Transferring personnel at sea can be a hazardous operation but is an essential element to enable workers to be where they are needed. There are many techniques for conducting transfers and all of them have pros and cons. Beyond helicopter transfers (see the IOSH aviation group for more information on helicopter operations) there are man-riding cranes, surfers, walk-to-work and pilot ladders to consider.

To help decision making on the appropriate method for your installation or vessel, we have pulled together the best guidance publicly available and have listed them below. NOTE; some may need a subscription to access.

Any additions or comments on the issue of personnel transfers at sea, get in touch with us through the contact details on our webpage.


IMCA M 202 – Guidance on the Transfer of Personnel to and from Offshore Vessels (Updated May 2019)
NOTE; this is a paid for guidance unless you are an IMCA member. The second revision of this guidance now references offshore wind as well as O&G. This guidance includes all transfers whether at sea, to offshore structures or quayside. This is for small boats, large crew boats, transfer basket, gangways, bridges, accommodation ladders and surfers. The document also includes details of risk assessments, training required, PTW, responsibilities etc.

RenewableUK – Vessel safety guide (guidance for offshore renewable energy developers) (2015)
This document is general guidance on vessel selection and management for the renewables sector. It is not focussed on personnel transfer, but it is included. Well written with good decision charts for types of vessels.

Step Change in Safety – Marine Transfer of Personnel (June 2014)
This guidance document only applies to O&G in the North Sea and then only for gangways and frogs. Nice decision flow charts included as pictorial representation of the requirements and does also include a template for risk assessment.

Marine Transfer Forum – Offshore personnel transfer by crane (May 2016)
This guidance focuses on ship to ship rather than other well-established guidance on ship to structure transfers. It is aimed to supplement existing regulations. It also contains a template for risk assessment and competency requirements for transfer team.

Energy Institute – Good practice guideline the safe management of small service vessels used in the offshore wind industry
NOTE; this is a paid for download unless you are an EI partner. Like the Renewables UK guidance on use of small vessels. It includes some aspects of personnel transfer.

G+ - Good practice guideline on Working at Height in the Offshore Wind Industry. 2nd Edition
A general guidance note written in collaboration with the Energy Institute on working at height that includes vessel transfers via ladder and walk to work systems.


Major Accident Hazards

Health and Wellbeing

Human factors


Offshore regulators
Offshore sector good/best practices

The Global Wind Organisation (GWO) is a non-profit membership organisation where wind turbine manufacturers and owners of wind turbines are eligible as members.

In order to become a member of GWO, prospective members have to sign the GWO Framework Agreement which entails that as a GWO member, your organisation will:

  • Participate in the GWO Steering Committee to decide strategy and action plans
  • Apply GWO standards whenever relevant and possible
  • Allocate subject matter experts to: develop standards in Training Committee; perform non-conformity investigations in Audit and Compliance Committee; share costs equally if there is no other income to cover.

The aim of Oil & Gas UK is to strengthen the long-term health of the offshore oil and gas industry in the United Kingdom by working closely with companies across the entire sector, governments and other stakeholders to address the important issues. Their publications page includes several giving H, S (and E) guidance, some of which have become de facto sector standards, including beyond UK N Sea area (see the publications beginning HS... or EN ).

Step Change in Safety is a UK voluntary group aimed at defining and sharing good practices across the UK sector. It is particularly focused on engagement of both organisational leaders and employee representatives. It has a wide range of good practice publications and toolkits that have become UK sector and, in some cases, global standards. Step Change is funded by its member organisations employees of those organisations can download material and attend events for free, but non-members are charged. IOSH Offshore Group is discussing with Step Change how such criteria can best be applied for OSH professionals.

The Marine Safety Forum actively promotes good practices and initiatives to promote safety within the marine sector of the Northern European oil and gas industry. Lots of Safety Alerts, vessel checklists and other publications. The International Association of Marine Contractors (IMCA) publishes a wide range of Safety, Environment and Legislation documents see p3 of their publications catalogue, mostly priced. IMCA also publishes many Safety Flashes, though these are available only to member organisations.

The Offshore Industry Advisory Committee (OIAC) is a tripartite committee. OIAC includes members representing employers, employees, unions, trade associations and other government departments.

G+ is a global organisation of operators of offshore wind farms, formed to create and deliver world class health and safety performance across all of its activities. G+ runs Safe by Design Workshops , publishes HSE statistics , and develops Good Practice Guidelines .

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is a register of consultants who can offer general advice to UK businesses to help them manage health and safety risks. All consultants who join the register are bound by their professional body code of conduct and are committed to providing sensible and proportionate advice.


Disclaimer: The information and opinions expressed on this webpage are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).