The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) now has over a thousand member companies involved in offshore, marine and underwater engineering in more than 60 countries, delivering major offshore construction projects from arctic to equatorial waters. Chris Charman, the association’s chief executive, finds this an important milestone as the members employ some 350,000 people between them and have a combined annual turnover of around USD150bn.
The IMCA members work in all the world’s major offshore areas, delivering major offshore oil and gas and marine renewables projects around the globe that quite literally fuel the global economy. IMCA members’ ‘holy grail’ is ‘zero incidents’ and the Association works with them aiming to achieve this end. Recently published statistics showed that lost time injury frequency rates (LTIFR) had dropped to the lowest figure since IMCA began collecting data. According to Mr Charman, IMCA cannot afford to be complacent and the challenging work programme on behalf of member companies shows how seriously the ‘zero incidents' goal is taken.
The association has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, IMCA seeks to promote its members' common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
The highlight of the year is the Annual Seminar, which this year will be held in London on 19 and 20 November with its theme “Where Next for the Offshore Marine Industry”. Furthermore, some 70 meetings a year, involving Marine, Diving, ROV, Offshore Survey Safety Environmental & Legislation, and Competence & Training committees; regional sections are also held throughout the year. All are aimed at improving risk management processes and procedures across every aspect of the offshore construction world. They are conducted all over the world and attended by IMCA members for pooling of knowledge in a totally open and honest way to ensure the offshore marine contracting industry continues to improve.
IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP (dynamic positioning) documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID), safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.