The National Workboat Association (NWA) has launched an ‘Understanding Fatigue’ campaign to combat crewmember fatigue on offshore energy support vessels (OESVs). The campaign was a direct response to widespread concerns about the occurrence of fatigue among workboat crewmembers, the association said.
The challenge posed by fatigue was first highlighted by members of the workboat and offshore wind sectors at the NWA’s inaugural Offshore Wind Safety Forum, held in September 2017.
The association said that, as wind farms increased in size, scale and technological advancement, OESV operators found themselves working further away from shore, with longer journey times and the potential for extended shift patterns. With project developers aiming to maximize the uptime of their contracted offshore workers, working hours could increase beyond advisable, and on occasion legal, limits, leaving crews overtired and vulnerable to making errors.
NWA said that the situation was often compounded by the contractual relationships in offshore wind construction, which could see projects handed over to new, sometimes less experienced, coordination.