Saipem has received the Total Safety Award for an innovative system that improves performance during operations in confined spaces in terms of personnel safety, productivity and quality of the end product.
The award ceremony took place on 23 October 2019 during Total Suppliers Day in the offices of the oil major in the La Défense district of Paris.
The prize was presented to Guido D’Aloisio, Senior Manager of Saipem’s Offshore E&C Business Division, and sponsor of the project.
The new confined space management system adopts hi-tech equipment and is the result of a study based on years of experience and expertise gained on previous projects.
From an operational standpoint, the solution requires that riggers and welders working in confined spaces wear special ergonomic helmets into which purified air is introduced and through which it is possible to adjust the temperature of the protection device according to one’s personal level of comfort. Headsets and a microphone ensure constant communication between the operators inside and the assistants outside. Furthermore, gas detection sensors and an infrared camera system facilitate the monitoring in real rime of all environmental parameters inside the space, as well as the timely identification of potentially risky situations. Finally, training is provided using a tailor-made simulator.
The confined space management system was developed in Nigeria for the Egina project in collaboration with Total. It was initially designed for welders working on buoyancy tanks, cylindrical buoys used to support the vertical pipes that transport oil and gas from the seabed to the surface. In order to carry out this important task, it is vital that the welds on all airlocks (whose filling with hydrogen determines the way the buoy is positioned) are done to perfection.
Guido D’Aloisio, Senior Manager of Saipem’s Offshore E&C Business Division, comments, “Through this solution, Saipem has managed not only to improve the working environment of people operating in confined spaces, but also to increase productivity. Indeed, thanks to this equipment it is now possible for the work session of an individual to last for two or three hours rather than the usual 30 minutes. This project is further proof of how Saipem contributes to creating value in the countries where it operates, in this instance by transferring both assets and know-how. Specifically, we are witnessing a transfer of technology, designed and produced entirely in Nigeria, to other sites around the world where it can be used in confined space operations.”