Nov 28, 2019

Paul Onions discusses the benefits of LEEA membership for Reflex Marine in Oil Review Middle East

Reflex Marine were the 2019 winners of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association's Safety Award for their new work basket design STORM-WORK.

An interview with Paul Onions, Engineering Manager at Reflex Marine, was published in the latest issue of Oil Review Middle East.

Reflex Marine has been a membe
r of LEEA (the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) since 2014.  After 5 years of being an active member of the organisation, what would you say are the main benefits of the membership with LEEA?

Reflex Marine recognises LEEA as an excellent source of technical knowledge with vast expertise in the lifting area. LEEA members also participate in numerous other technical communities which means we get regular updates about activities happening in related areas, as well as, being made aware of safety issues arising in them.

Reflex Marine has always considered itself as an international company, we support projects in over 70 countries over the world. Being involved with LEEA helps us build credibility and confidence in the eyes of our customers. Finally, in relation to our product development, we take note of any suppliers that hold LEEA accreditation. The LEEA stamp provides a reassurance that they also have a focus on safe lifting practices and that they have passed a LEEA technical audit themselves. As such, it gives us confidence in high quality and manufacturing standard of the products.

Reflex Marine’s work-basket design called STORM-WORK won the LEEA Award this year in the Safety category. What is it about your design that distinguishes it from the competition?

For any new product development we undertake, improving the safety of the offshore operations is our primary objective. We start by identifying the major risks in the current operations and then look to develop a design that mitigates them. In the case of the STORM-WORK, we worked with Subsea 7 to identify the risks that they had in their operations at height with the use of a standard steel work basket. We also reviewed historic incident data from the past 30 years to identify any recurring common causes leading to injury or even fatalities as a direct result of work-basket design, pre-use checks or operational guidance. Out of this process, the key risks in work basket design for the offshore industry were identified as:

  • Crushing & trapping
  • Snagging
  • Lateral impacts
  • Immersion

The driving force behind the design of the STORM-WORK was to address the traditional basket design shortcomings and protect passengers from these identified risks. We introduced standoffs to create a safe working zone to lower the risk of trapping or crushing injuries to the workers inside the basket. The basket’s roof was designed to protect against the likelihood of being struck by a falling object while still allowing good visibility throughout the lifting process. The unit profile has been contoured to deflect around objects rather than snagging on items whilst being moved. The lifting configuration has four anchor points stabilising the carrier and reducing the risk of tipping. The reduced mass in comparison to traditional work baskets means less momentum is carried into lateral impacts. That feature, coupled with the buoyancy panels which provide impact absorption, reduces the impact effects on the passengers and it protects the surrounding assets, too. The buoyancy panels also ensure that in the event of immersion the basket will stay afloat in an upright position keeping the airways of the occupants above the waterline.

Further to that, STORM-WORK has undergone a rigorous testing and verification programme, just like all of Reflex Marine’s products. We incorporated the findings into the operational guidance for STORM WORK to ensure the ease of inspection and maintenance and the highest standards of worker safety during work basket operations. It is that focus on safety and minimising the risks of the offshore operations incorporated into our unique design that really make the STORM-WORK stand out compared to the other work baskets available on the market.

Is this the first time Reflex Marine has won a LEEA Award?

This is the first time we have been nominated for a LEEA safety award (and won!)  but it is not the first time we have been nominated for a safety award. To name just a few: in 2017 we received the Intercis Award or Best Offshore Solution for the complete portfolio of personnel transfer carriers. In the same year we have also been granted the Health and Safety Award for the FROG-XT range of carriers at the Global Petroleum Show in Houston. Finally, for the WAVE-4 carrier – our first design for the transfer of standing passengers – we received the Seatrade Award in the category Safety at Sea. These and other awards we have received over the years are a result of a joint company effort and a reflection of the dedication of the whole team towards improving the safety of people working offshore.

Paul Onions photo

Paul Onions
Engineering Manager

For more information on the progress of STORM-WORK, please contact us on +44 (0) 1872 321155 or email