Allseas Group – Our experience of using the Kelvin TOP-SET System

Allseas Projects QHSE Manager, Wally Gellock, explains how Allseas are using Kelvin TOP-SET and the results that the company has seen so far.

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How would you sum up your experience so far with Kelvin TOP-SET?

Overall, we have had an excellent response from our field personnel to the Kelvin TOP-SET process. We have seen a much more structured approach to investigating incidents by our offshore teams and, in particular, a very high level of understanding of root causes and the consequent direction therefore for solving the elements that have contributed to the incidents, rather than what was before the training: a simplified – find a cause – fix identified cause, and move on approach.

The confidence that it has given our personnel in investigating incidents has been very noticeable, and where we have had a couple of incidents that required investigation by our client, (with far greater and more experienced resources), our own personnel have been able to complete an in-house investigation and determine effectively the same Root Causes that the client teams have come up with.

To date on the projects operating here in Australia, we have not had a major incident where there has been a requirement for a full-team rollout and high-level investigation, so we have not had the opportunity to test that aspect, and our intention is to keep it that way!

How you have integrated TOP-SET into the organisation?

Our first priority was to make sure our front line personnel on board, the Vessel Management Teams, were fully conversant with the TOP-SET system. We felt that this was necessary as the majority of incidents that we see are in the low to medium-low consequence or potential category, and therefore those teams would be required to be involved and understand the system for greatest immediate effect. This has proven to be a sound method, as so far in this project we have had only low level incidents that have not required back up from shore for investigation.

We also targeted our shore based operations personnel in the training to be in a position to provide assistance to the offshore teams in the event of a major or serious incident investigation. One of the positives from that training has been the higher level of understanding and therefore trust in the outcomes of field based investigations because everyone is now speaking the same investigation language.

How has TOP-SET been received by your team?

Overall very well received across the whole organisation, from the on board personnel through to onshore management.

What tangible results you have seen?

There has been a very noticeable improvement in the quality of investigation and reporting, and the confidence now shown by our offshore personnel in conducting investigations and delivering reports has been a leap forward.

Probably the most noticeable result has been the desire by the offshore teams to now drill down and get to real root causes, and the confidence they now have in being able to show that in many cases, the root cause can be sheeted home to onshore management. Before this training, this would have been a tenuous path to tread as it would have been seen as “blame shift” rather than root cause. The onshore acceptance has been excellent because of the shared language.

What are your thoughts on how effective incident investigation may be able to help companies achieve their aims and objectives?

Effective investigation into incidents assists us in achieving better understanding of the underlying issues that we need to manage and plan to improve our outcomes both in safety performance, and also in general productivity.

The Swiss-based Allseas Group S.A. is a global leader in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction. The company employs over 2,000 people worldwide and operates a versatile fleet of six specialised pipelay and support vessels, designed and developed in house.

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