SOURCE: Atlas

Atlas

February 14, 2012 13:15 ET

OPITO's IMIST Set to Become Safety Standard for Gulf of Mexico and Globally

International Minimum Industry Safety Training (IMIST) Online, Developed by Atlas, Ensures Consistent, Cost-Effective Training for Any Company, Anywhere

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 14, 2012) - No longer a best practice, but rather a moral imperative, global oil and gas standards body, OPITO, sees a continuing demand within the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas community to establish a global safety standard. For the first time, OPITO, along with the oil and gas industry, has developed an online, global standardized basic safety training which will reach an estimated 1.5 million people employed in exploration and production activities of oil and gas worldwide.

Atlas, the leading international learning and skills provider, has worked in partnership with OPITO to develop the online technology and deliver IMIST globally.

IMIST online is being rolled out across 30 countries worldwide including Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Malaysia and the United States over the next two years. Together, OPITO and Atlas have successfully trained more than 50,000 oil and gas workers in the UKCS since 2009 to the MIST United Kingdom standard.

"Our objective for IMIST is to increase the level of safety awareness, reduce operational risk and the number of safety related incidents," said Albert Skiba, OPITO's vice president of the Gulf of Mexico. "IMIST represents a major step forward by the oil and gas industry to introduce a global safety standard relevant to USA workers as well as those working in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, West Africa and Southeast Asia."

OPITO contends that training people consistently to the same level will bring significant safety improvements in the Gulf of Mexico and internationally. Additionally, IMIST will allow greater flexibility in overseas deployment as it becomes the standard for safety training on a global basis with no need to duplicate and repeat training.

IMIST online is an e-learning program, which ensures, in a consistent and cost-effective manner, that anyone working in the oil and gas industry has the appropriate training, skills, and competency to minimize safety hazards and risks. The course, now available in four languages, assesses basic safety knowledge in nine subject areas including risk assessment, asset integrity, the use of hazardous substances, working at height and mechanical lifting among other subjects.

John Rowley, chief executive officer of Atlas, said: "A global standard provides companies with the assurance they need that the people they have working for them, whether directly or via contractor, meet the same basic level of safety and competency to avoid risk."

Rowley added, "We developed the technology underpinning IMIST to allow workers with a solid understanding of basic safety to progress very quickly through the course. While the time required completing it is reduced, the content and standard of competency required does not change. This approach has created an e-learning environment that is more likely to keep the participant engaged, informed and interested in a key area of training, raising the bar on safety standards in the worldwide oil and gas industry."

A not-for-profit industry body, OPITO is committed to improving safety and reducing risk for people, assets and companies in one of the most hazardous working environments. The organization works with governments, national oil companies, multi-nationals and contractors to provide independent advice and guidance on effective management of workforce skills development, emergency response, occupational standards, qualifications and quality assurance of training delivery.

Its world class training network spans 32 countries with more than 200,000 people each year training to OPITO's best-practice standards.

The U.S. product launch and briefing of IMIST will take place, Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2012, at Hotel ZaZa in Houston. Approximately 50 senior representatives from the leading national and international oil companies will attend the briefing to hear how the IMIST standard will transform the industry by ensuring workers have a common standard of safety knowledge and training to understand and avoid hazards and risks.

NOTES TO EDITORS:
OPITO is widely recognized as the industry's focal point for skills, learning and workforce development. It meets its primary goals of securing a safe, skilled and competent workforce both now and in the future by working in collaboration with industry employers, learning & training providers, education & academia and other partnership organizations.

Atlas provides innovative learning, compliance and competency solutions to the oil & gas and other safety-critical industries worldwide. Its technology-led solutions are used to deliver over 350,000 learning events across 40 countries and in more than 20 languages every year with the specific aim of helping the industry improve business performance while reducing legislative and operational risk through the creation of a safer, more highly skilled workforce.

For more information, visit IMIST website http://www.IMIST-Online.com

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