Fit to Train Summary
The OPITO BOSIET, FOET and HUET Courses are each changing and will now include in-water training with the CA-EBS. This new element requires additional medical tests for delegates, which will be captured via a "Fit to Train" certificate. This must be completed before you can partake in the BOSIET, FOET or HUET Courses. Delegates will need to complete a questionnaire asking about respiratory, ear, nose and throat checks and a lung health assessment which will be assessed in a face to face medical assessment with an Oil & Gas UK Examining Doctor.
This medical assessment will be offered stand-alone or combined with the Oil & Gas UK Medical. Speak to our teams on 0844 800 1810 to book an appointment with our onsite doctor.
ABOUT ‘WET’ CA-EBS TRAINING
The Fitness to train requirement has come about since the introduction of ‘wet’ CA-EBS training, previously delegates would complete dry training with the Compressed Air – Emergency Breather System in a classroom. The fitness to train relates to the risk of using compressed air breathing systems and is designed to ensure delegates are physically fit for the use of compressed air systems.
In-water training has been mandatory in Canada since 2009 with at least 10,000 Canadian Workers undertaking shallow-water exercises with similar exercises being introduced in the UK. The hazards of breathing compressed gases under water are well understood from commercial and recreational diving experience. The principle hazard to be considered for the helicopter scenario is that of overpressure (barotrauma) occurring in gas-filled spaces in the body.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS WITH IN-WATER CA-EBS TRAINING?
The risk of Barotrauma in the wet-training exercises is considered to be “very low”. Risk mitigating measures will include strict control of depth, progressive exercises to get delegates used to using EBS and direct supervision from instructors. The British Sub-Aqua Club and Canadian experience is of zero occurrences of events during training.
WHY IS A “FIT TO TRAIN” CERTIFICATE BEING INTRODUCED?
The HSE considers the use of compressed air breathing equipment in survival training to be ‘diving at work’, legally requiring trainees to undergo a full diver medical examination. However, after observing pilot courses the HSE have declared trainees to be exempt from this requirement provided they are in possession of an in-date Oil & Gas UK Medical and that they have completed a self-declaration questionnaire, declaring themselves absent of any relevant medical conditions that might cause Barotrauma.
To validate this questionnaire, the delegates must review their answers face to face with an OGUK doctor. This is a similar practice to Canada where medical assessments are completed in order to elicit a history of clinical pathology relevant to increased risk of Barotrauma with further assessment of those with a history of such pathology.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
For the UK, this means delegates will be asked to complete a questionnaire which will be discussed, face to face, with the doctor to clarify the questions and their significance are understood. Where the doctor is satisfied there is no history or clinical suspicion of a relevant medical condition the trainee is certified fit to train.
Where there is history of a medical condition the doctor will perform a clinical examination and either issue a ‘fit to train’ certificate or an exemption at which point the trainee will be issued a medically ‘not fit to train’ certificate and will be excused in-water training. In this case they can complete their survival training with “dry-training” for CA-EBS.
In reality this element will be included within the Oil & Gas Medical. The key difference being at least this element of the medical must be completed before the HUET training. In the short-term, a standalone Fitness To Train certificate will be issued by the doctor following a short (15 minute) consultation.
>>> Delegates MUST bring their certificate with them to show the Survival Team before taking the HUET <<<
WORKERS IN WIND
The biggest impact will come to workers in the wind sector. The HSE has only exempted the Oil & Gas Medical to avoid the requirement to hold a full Diver Medical Certificate. This means that a worker in the wind sector, requiring a HUET course, must hold both a Wind Medical and Oil & Gas Medical.
IF DELEGATES HAVE DIVER MEDICAL CERTS
Importantly, a Diver Medical Certificate is permitted in lieu of the Fitness to Train. So anyone with a Diver Medical Certificate will not be impacted by these changes at all.
AS A DELEGATE, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO NOW
If your medical expires before your BOSIET / FOET (with CA-EBS) then no action needs to be taken as the medical with fitness to train will take place before your next refresher.
If your medical expires after your BOSIET / FOET (with CA-EBS) then you’ll need to make an appointment with the doctor before doing any refresher training to get a “fitness to train” certificate.
OR, if you hold a Diver Medical Certificate this is permitted in lieu of the Fitness to Train. So anyone with a Diver Medical Certificate will not be impacted by these changes at all and do not require a “Fitness to Train” certificate
WHAT IF YOU'RE DECLARED UNFIT
If declared medically unfit to train, you can still participate in your BOSIET/FOET but not the in-water CA-EBS exercises. You will still get your certificate as normal. You will be required to undertake dry CA-EBS training separately in the classroom.
OR CALL 0844 800 1810 (Option 1)