Offshore Accommodation Standards – Key Things
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Offshore accommodation is a common term for petroleum and gas companies. After a tiring working day, the workers need a place to unwind where they can feel safe and comfortable. Here comes the issue of accommodation standards. In an unfamiliar environment, workers naturally remain a bit depressed. You cannot expect maximum effort from a depressed and tired person. A relaxing and pleasant atmosphere outside of workplace can revamp the crew and prime them for the next day output.
Various companies have their own policies for Offshore Accommodations. There are also national guidelines so that rights of the workers are not violated or ignored. Several reports strongly recognize the positive impact of appropriate accommodation conditions on the productivity, morale, overall well-being, health and safety of offshore facility workers. Added output from workers living in a comfortable place surely outweighs the savings a company can make from poorly installed cabins.
During installation of accommodation facilities, or hiring a company for such job, industry operators should consider things under some broad headings like the layout of living quarters, level of noise, vibration, indoor air quality, and lighting. Some of the key aspects of accommodation standards endorsed by some national regulatory bodies are discussed here.
Cabins are provided for sound sleep, rest, and personal hygiene needs. Cabins can be grouped in a dedicated floor or separate corridors away from noisy activities.
A platform bed is ideal for sleeping cabins. The mattress should be on a solid, flat, and raised surface. The structure may be free from the floor or be a part of the cabin. Beds may be arranged in a row or tier. The lower bed in a tier will be at least 30cm above the floor. Head clearance above each bed should be ideally 81cm. Beds should be separated by individually operated privacy curtains. Bed mattress should be comfortable and of appropriate size. A sufficient number of beds must be provided so that no person needs to share a bed. However, in some places, a system of ‘hot bunking’ prevails where mattress or bedding is changed to allow two people working in different shifts to share a bed.
Beds must not be overcrowded that can restrict access to facilities, impair privacy, disturb in maintaining hygiene or disturb sleep. Overcrowding also restricts the ability of the workers to escape in the event of an emergency or accident. Floor area should be at least 4.5 square meters for a single cabin and 9.0 square meters for a shared cabin (accommodating two/three workers). This area is exclusive of washroom unit. Each worker should have lockable space to store clothing and personal belongings.
Reasonable privacy and comfort should be provided to all occupants. You can take a look at the standards here. A maximum of two persons should be allowed in a berth or cabin whenever space allows. Three persons can be allowed provided that one of them works in a different shift. Allowing four persons in a cabin is considered substandard.
Ensuite bathroom facilities are considered standard for the design of new intermittently-manned and normally-manned facilities. If it is not possible or reasonable, access to the bathroom should not require access through public areas.
Corridors are meant to provide adequate access and passage to and from all usable areas of the accommodation in normal and emergency situations. These should allow passage of two persons comfortably. All rooms on the same level should be interconnected via corridors, and different levels should be connected via staircases and lifts. These should be designed keeping escape, evacuation and rescue issues in mind. A standard dimension of a corridor is 230cm (height) by 120cm (width).
The dining space should be on the same level, and attention should be paid to workflow patterns. It should accommodate about 50 % of total workers of the level at a time. Sufficient space should be kept for the serving station and waste disposal.
An ideal offshore accommodation provides an opportunity for recreational activities like cinema, games room, TV, phone booth, prayer room, music, internet, computer, gymnasium, library, and other facilities according to workers type.
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