Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
January 20, 2015

The following is being distributed at the request of the Research & Development Corporation:

Strengthening the Economy Through Investments in Research and Development

RDC Supports New Research and Development to Improve Offshore Helicopter Safety

The Research and Development Corporation (RDC) is investing $350,000 in two R&D projects to help personnel survive helicopter ditching or abandonment in water. These R&D projects, related to escape exits and survival skills, are being undertaken by Falck Safety Services Canada with funding from RDC, Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, and Falck. The total value of the projects is approximately $700,000.

"We all recognize that the offshore is a harsh and at times dangerous work environment and this government places the upmost importance on protecting the health and safety of the men and women who work offshore in Newfoundland and Labrador. One of the ways the Provincial Government remains committed to ensuring the health and safety of offshore workers is by investing in projects such as these, through the Research & Development Corporation. I am pleased that this research will generate data that addresses specific issues raised by the Robert Wells Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry."
- The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Minister of Business, Culture, Tourism and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation

The first project seeks to identify the specific human factor requirements to open a Sikorsky S-92 push-out emergency escape exit. Findings may provide critical health and safety components necessary for future training guidance. The second project will investigate the effect of wave patterns on the performance and retention of sea survival skills on offshore workers. This project will provide information on optimal training conditions and how escape and survival skills are acquired.

"This research will provide valuable incremental information to trainers, safety and survival manufacturers, and regulatory bodies. The outcomes could also be applicable globally in terms of future underwater escape training and exit design."
- Glenn Janes, CEO, Research & Development Corporation

The S92 exit and sea survival research projects demonstrate Falck Safety Service Canada's ongoing examination of human performance in harsh environments.

"At Falck Safety Services Canada we want to ensure that workers return home safely to their family and friends. Thanks to the funding provided by RDC and Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, these projects will provide a superior understanding ofthe complex issues that could be faced while traveling to and from, or working, offshore. This new knowledge will then be used to develop advanced training solutions that are better suited to preparing individuals for situations that we hope they will never face."
- Dr. Michael Taber, Falck Safety Services Canada

RDC is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's research and development performance. RDC works with research and development stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments to make strategic investments in people, research and development opportunities, and infrastructure.


  • The Research & Development Corporation is investing $350,000 in two research and development projects that will seek to help personnel survive helicopter ditching or abandonment in water. The projects will be undertaken by Falck Safety Services Canada.
  • Funding for the two projects is being provided by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, RDC and Falck. The total value of the projects is approximately $700,000.
  • Additional information on the Research and Development Corporation can be found at:   .

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Media contacts:

Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
Chris Flanagan
Director of Marketing and Communications
Research & Development Corporation
709-758-1021, 691-1009

Dr. Michael Taber
Sr. Research Scientist
Falck Safety Services Canada

2015 01 20                              11:30 a.m.