New technology will help take the fear out of a North Sea rite of passage often referred to as “getting dunked”.
Safety training provider Falck’s 360-degree immersive technology will show people what to expect from the helicopter underwater escape training (HUET) exercise.
Oil workers have to complete HUET before they can go offshore.
They are strapped into seats inside a structure resembling the main body of a helicopter, before being lowered into a pool and tasked with getting back to the surface.
Falck’s footage, best viewed with virtual reality goggles and hand-held devices, will be used as an induction training aid to fully prepare delegates for the escape training before they enter the water.
The company launched the technology at the Opito Safety and Competence Conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
It is now being rolled out across Falck’s UK centres, including in Aberdeen, and plans are afoot to offer it globally at 33 more bases in the near future.
Falck UK managing director Duncan Bonner said: “The 360° technology will improve the experience for our customers and their workforce by providing as much information as possible about the training and what their personnel will experience throughout the HUET exercise.
“As a training and training management company, we are always at the forefront of digital advancements within the industry and this has been a small investment which will make a remarkable difference to our customers.
“They will be more prepared for the HUET exercises before they even wet their feet, as this technology provides a very realistic experience but in a controlled and safe environment.”
Assistant training centre manager Rory Soutar said: “This will be an enormous help for people who struggle with the pool exercises and a good training aid for people who are apprehensive or anxious about what to expect if it is their first experience of offshore safety training.”