SAN DONATO MILANESE, Italy – Saipem has received the Total Safety Award for its new confined space management system.
The system 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. Also, gas detection sensors and an infrared camera system facilitate real-time monitoring of all environmental parameters inside the space, as well as the timely identification of potential risks. The company said training is provided using a simulator.
The 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. To carry out this 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, the company said.
Guido D’Aloisio, senior manager of Saipem’s Offshore E&C Business Division, said: “… 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…”