Offshore wind farm 3

Offshore staff should be considered key workers to ease crew changes

A lobby has started to get the IMO to support a recommendation for Governments to facilitate the movement of offshore energy sector personnel during the Covid-19 pandemic. They should be considered “key workers” to enable ease of movement during mobilisation and demobilisation.

The lobby is carried out by an international offshore energy industry group comprising among others the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC). Right now, only seafarers and marine personnel are considered key workers and offshore energy personnel do not fit into this category.

‘Working together we impressed upon the IMO’s Secretary-General that the continued delivery of an unabated supply of these energy resources rests with the ability of the global offshore energy workforce to continue to carry out its function despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ says Margaret Fitzgerald, IMCA’s Head of Policy & Regulatory Affairs.

The “Recommendations for Governments” (and relevant national authorities) which have been developed by the group seek to ensure smooth handovers, essential within the offshore sector by placing its personnel in the same category as seafarers and marine personnel. In particular, the lobby asks for ‘exempting these key workers from any isolation or quarantine measures that might be applicable to other passengers arriving by aircraft from other countries.’

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.