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Improving Offshore Safety: OPITO's New Global Standard for Marine Operations

Introducing the Safe Offshore Marine Operations (SOMO) standard

The Safe Offshore Marine Operations (SOMO) – Offshore Installations & Energy Structures Safety Zone standard is designed to increase awareness, competency and safety in the zones surrounding offshore installations. With a rise in vessel collisions within these exclusion areas globally, the need for a comprehensive approach to mitigate risks has never been more crucial.


Addressing industry concerns

In response to industry concerns and after thorough consultation with key stakeholders including the Marine Safety Forum (MSF), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other industry representatives, OPITO developed the SOMO standard. This standard aligns with the Marine Operations Guide, ensuring a consistent approach to safety across the sector.

Sarah Hutcheon, Product Development Manager at OPITO, reaffirmed our commitment to fostering a safe and skilled energy workforce. The SOMO standard is not just about compliance; it's about instilling a culture of safety and continuous improvement within the industry.


Focused training for enhanced competency

At the core of the SOMO standard is the empowerment of personnel responsible for marine operations around offshore installations and energy structures. By equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills, the standard aims to enable individuals to identify, recognise and mitigate potential hazards effectively.


Expert input and collaboration

The development of the SOMO standard was a cooperative effort, engaging closely with industry stakeholders and experts in offshore safety. Collaboration with organisations like Seacroft Marine Consultants, who are highly experienced in this subject, ensured that the standard reflects the best practices and insights gathered from years of experience.

Managing Director of Seacroft Marine Consultants, Michael Cowlam, anticipates that global adoption of this standard will lead to increased knowledge and risk prevention among personnel working in safety zones, ultimately resulting in safer marine operations worldwide.


Looking ahead

OPITO's launch of the SOMO standard marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance offshore safety. By prioritising competency, awarenes, and collaboration, the industry is better equipped to navigate the challenges of offshore operations while ensuring the safety of personnel and assets alike.