by Keith Western, training manager at Restrata

“If there’s an emergency on an offshore installation, when you’re miles away from land – dialling 999 simply isn’t an option.

Thankfully offshore emergencies are rare, but, when they do occur, the right crisis management training can come into its own.

For crisis management training to work at its best, delegates should feel completely immersed in the experience and encounter actions and emotions as if they were facing a real crisis. That way, mistakes can be made in a safe and simulated environment and avoided in the workplace, where there may be accountability and liability. The training helps the right response become intuitive and timely.

At Restrata, we’ve partnered up with AIS Training to deliver world-class crisis management training for the global oil and gas sector and realism is an essential part of our OPITO-approved suite of crisis management courses.

For the practical element of the Major Emergency Management Initial Response course, we use a simulator, which mirrors all the equipment and operations of an emergency response room. The emergency scenario feels real. Alarms are both visual and audible, there are CCTV images and realistic sound effects.

The training is extremely immersive and realistic. You can see the physical effects of stress on people during these practical exercises and you can almost smell the adrenalin. People’s body language will slump when bad news is delivered and there’s a deep “exhale” when it’s over. In fact, the training feels so real I’ve seen team members squaring up to each other during the simulations ready to fight and in one case one person projectile vomited due to the intensity of the experience.

Although it seems extreme, I would argue that it is only by going through an emergency scenario in training can you be fully prepared for a real event in the field.

It’s certainly true that by the end of the course, the difference in people can be astonishing. Truly transformational. Even those who are extremely nervous and unsure of what to do during their first practical session, become confident and knowledgeable during the final session.

“Maintaining a state of readiness is essential, undergoing training that’s as close to the real experience as it gets, ensures that managers are well prepared for any emergency in the field should it occur.”

AIS Training and Restrata are holding short team building taster sessions for Training managers, Operations teams and OIM’s in November. Register your interest in attending by emailing