Job spotlight: Bruce Harrison’s offshore drill
The director of NEXis Project Services explains how his work in the offshore renewables sector differs from construction on land.
Tell us about a typical day in your job.
My day generally follows the schedule of the offshore work parties – and even shifts covering 24-hour operations at times – to control construction activity in the offshore site.
Generally speaking I work Monday to Friday and weekends as and when required. However, currently I am working two weeks offshore and two weeks onshore. The time onshore could either be working days or non-working days, depending on what the project and my business requires.
“The sea and weather offshore can have far-reaching impact on the project progress, costs and the speed at which the conditions may change, requiring us to be far more safety-conscious and responsive.”
An essential element of my role is to manage construction progress and report this to our stakeholders, manage contractor activities and control simultaneous operations. Also to review their safe system of works and support contractors to bring these in line with the construction phase plan, as well as issuing and controlling the principal contractor’s permit-to-work system and ensuring the safety of the site and personnel offshore at all times.
Do you need specific skills/training?
Very similar to standard onshore structural construction management – a degree in engineering, project or construction management, and competence managing programmes of works, contract management.
However, working in an offshore environment, there are a few additions. Other qualifications include: Working and Rescue from Height, Confined Space Rescue, Advanced First Aid, Sea Survival – and even potentially Helicopter Underwater Escape Training.
What are the most challenging aspects?
The unpredictability of the environment in which we work. The sea and weather offshore can have far-reaching impact on the project progress, costs and the speed at which the conditions may change, requiring us to be far more safety-conscious and responsive.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I believe people working in the offshore renewables industry are similarly outgoing and passionate people and, as much of a cliche as this sounds, I love the fact I am making a difference in climate change, sustainability and the control of CO2 emissions.