Norway is to follow the UK with special safety requirements for “extra broad” offshore workers going into helicopters.
Measurements are now taking place for the Norwegian workforce at heliport stations ahead of the rules coming into force from March 1.
The extra broad requirement (XBR) will apply to workers with shoulder width of more than 56 centimeters.
They will be required to wear an arm band marking them out and sit in designated XBR seats in helicopters by large emergency exits, with measurements repeated every four years.
The rules come under EU regulations which were first implemented by the Norway Civil Aviation Authority in 2019, but temporary exemptions were granted to helicopter operators CHC and Bristow.
It’s been nearly 10 years since a safety review – CAP1145 – saw similar measures put in place in the UK, later enforced in April 2015, with tens of thousands of workers measured.
The change was put in place to ensure that everyone on board can escape in the event of a helicopter capsizing after a ditching or water impact.
S-92 helicopter types in Norway will be affected, with three large emergency exits at the front and back.
The review will also affect travellers of Super Puma helicopters flying out to the AkerBP Valhall field.
Unregistered passengers are to be barred from check in and must complete their measurements on the day of departure.
Norwegian oil and gas operator OKEA said, based on British sector statistics, there is a “low probability” of a shortage of dedicated seats.