Les Linklater: Do you remember September 1, 2014?

Les Linklater
Les Linklater
Les Linklater
Opinion by Les Linklater

For most, the day came and went; that same Monday morning feeling, discussions about the weekend, goodbyes before going offshore again.

But for a few, the day had been at the top of minds for months.

With more than 56,700 people now trained with the CAT-A EBS, it’s hard to imagine that when the CAA report was published seven months ago, a Category A breathing system was a stranger to every offshore province in the world. Nor did we expect that our ability to work together regardless of background, company and speciality was about to be tested for hundreds, if not thousands, to see.

So what happens when an operations manager, a logistics manager, a subject matter expert, a Regulator, an aviator, a manufacturer and a safety representative and a planner are given a tight deadline, and are depended on by thousands of offshore workers?

They achieve the impossible – but only through collaboration. In the last seven months, that group of people have worked hand in hand with the manufacturer, identified a new breathing system and lifejacket, and seen it through a rigorous testing and approval regime.
Working with OPITO, they developed an approved training course that was run by OPITO-approved training providers across the UK, and which more than 57,000 offshore workers successfully passed.

At Step Change, we say ‘collaboration’ a lot. The more we say it, the more it could lose its meaning. But if we take the EBS process and break it at any point, like a stick of rock, ‘collaboration’ runs through it. It’s been a constant theme throughout the last seven months and must continue to shape everything we do in the future.

Ultimately, if we believe everyone has their part to play for safety, we have to let everyone play it.

We have to be humble and keep our mouths closed. We have to accept that other people may know more than we do and might do something better than we can. There’s no ‘I’ in team, and there certainly no ‘I’ in collaborate. When it comes to safety, the stakes are too high to do everything in isolation. We have to collaborate.

So how can you step up, play your part and then step aside to let others play theirs?