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September 5, 2011

Part 1: Specification of e-learning and target learners


The Oil and Gas Industry (OGI) operates globally, under two main areas of exploration: onshore and offshore. Both environments are high risk to personnel and require strict legislation and regulation in order to ensure a degree of safe operation. Requirements for this level of control became apparent after the Piper Alpha disaster of 1989, when an explosion due to a gas leak caused during routine maintenance resulted in the death of 167 persons (Heaney, M. 2007). Following the disaster an enquiry led by Lord Cullen found critical levels of disregard for health and safety that led to an industry wide focus on safety over speed.

The single most important major change was a complete rethink in the attitude towards safety.” (Heaney, M. 2007)

The Cullen report was key to introducing ‘The 1971 Health and Safety at Work Act’ into the OGI. The means of making this health and safety training available included a blended solution of onsite training and the opportunities afforded by emerging computer based training as a means of cheaply and efficiently processing workers prior to embarkation (Edmonds R. 2002).


The Learner Profile

In 2009, Oil & Gas UK undertook research into its workforce. The data was collated over 12 months through a personnel tracking system providing the following information:

The average age for the total UKCS workforce is 41 years. This is an expected average for a workforce generally ranging from 20 to 60 years old. In 2006, just under 1800 female personnel travelled offshore (about 3.5% of the total workforce), with an increasing number of young professionals joining the industry.

The age profile for female workers was weighted towards the younger age brackets, with an average age of 34.1 years, indicating the recruitment of young females into the industry. A total of 117 nationalities are represented in the UKCS workforce with workers from the UK accounting for 85.1% of all personnel.”

(Oil & Gas UK, 2009, Page 2)

Key job positions include but are not exclusive to:

  • Catering
  • Crane Operation
  • Deck Crew
  • Drilling
  • Electrical
  • Maintenance
  • Mechanical
  • Medical
  • Production
  • Rigging
  • Scaffolding
  • Well Services

(Oil & Gas UK, 2009, Page 7)

This data shows that the types of personnel going offshore, although predominantly male, do come from varied professional backgrounds so will have specific learning ability and styles of learning.


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