Continuing consultations between VIKING Life-Saving Equipment and its growing offshore client base has brought a new lifejacket to the oil & gas and wind energy markets whose form is as innovative as the range of new details to overcome longstanding safety challenges facing offshore crews and maintenance personnel.
The VIKING YouSafe™ Vanguard inflatable lifejacket has been developed after the leading supplier asked designers to return to first principles and deliver a versatile, high-quality product to meet new standards of comfort and safety in order to ensure compliance. Developed to meet (275N) offshore industry standards is SOLAS/MED-approved and CE/ISO-accredited.
“Based on customer feedback, our designers continuously refine our safety products on the reality that if they are not worn correctly, they won’t work correctly,” says Global Product Manager Bettina Kjaergaard, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment. “Compliance is a given for the offshore industries and the VIKING YouSafeTM Vanguard features fully tested and proven solutions in that respect, but lifejackets are also workwear: comfort and versatility help crews and engineers stay safe as they work day-in, day-out.”
Forming the jacket to redistribute weight away from the neck and shoulder area and provide more space for mobility provided a special design focus, where user movements are often affected by needing to wear a helmet and communications gear. The lifejacket also includes high-visibility colors to attract user attention immediately to specific features in emergency situations, a new webbing system designed for easy and intuitive donning and a snug, comfortable fit.
“Staying at the forefront of lifejacket design depends on responding to specific market demands: The VIKING YouSafeTM Vanguard demonstrates our awareness of the tasks offshore crews face over extended periods at sea,” says Bettina Kjaergaard. “Body-fit, freedom of movement, efficiency in securing straps and even aesthetics impact their willingness to wear a lifejacket properly and remain compliant in pressure situations.”
Given that the offshore workforce can be deployed over a wide area, the new lifejacket is also designed for multiple jurisdictions. In addition to SOLAS compliance, the VIKING YouSafe™ Vanguard also includes front and back inspection windows featuring single point indicators on inflator readiness to comply with the EU’s latest Directive on PPE.
The VIKING YouSafe™ Vanguard lifejacket will be fully supported by the company’s global servicing network. Every lifejacket is supplied with its own digital identifier, enabling VIKING to offer full track and trace capability and to maintain up to date records for servicing and replacement.
“This lifejacket is the latest addition to our offshore safety portfolio, as we continue to innovate for the challenges facing established oil & gas clients and our expanding group of wind energy customers alike,” says Jens Peter Kruse, Vice President Global Fire & PPE Products, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment. “It is also the latest example of a VIKING next generation safety product which is multipurpose as well as fit for purpose.”
New products from VIKING in 2021 include an all-on-one offshore wind turbine evacuation kit with the VIKING YouSafe™ Hightide suit with integral harnesses, gloves and lowering device, a range of innovative VIKING YouSafe™ helicopter aviation suits and the VIKING YouSafe™ Walk-to-Work onesize immersion suit for offshore customers stored in a pouch at the back of the lifejacket to enable ‘hands-free protection’ for maintenance crews transferring from work boats to a fixed installation offshore.