Why Helicopter Safety Matters to Offshore Operations

By katie simpson on November 3, 2014

Offshore oil safety: most people think this means protecting rigs from explosions, leaks, and other mishaps. But a CDC report cataloging injuries from 2003-2013 shows that 51% of fatal injuries were during transportation events, usually involving aircraft. 30 fatal incidents happened in the US in 2013.

Helicopter transport to the rig is the most dangerous part. Photo credit: The U.S. Army via photopin cc

The Real Safety Issue for Offshore Oil

Why is helicopter transportation so dangerous?The Wall Street Journal reported that helicopters went down because of:

  • running out of fuel
  • flying in dangerous weather
  • ignoring early signs of helicopter malfunctions

There has been talk of incorporating further technology to improve safety. Some are encouraging use of advance fly-by-wire systems. But these three issues can be prevented with better oversight, and more rigorous pre and post flight inspections. 

Benefits of Mobile Helicopter Inspections

A mobile inspection of a helicopter before and after flights can ensure safer flights. It's common for paper forms to have very little oversight. They can be hard to read, easy to lose, and there's very little evidence other than a signature that an inspection even happened. Plus finding those forms after the fact can take hours, if you can find it.  

Going mobile improves oversight dramatically. For instance, GoCanvas has the Apache Offshore Helicopter Safety Checklist Mobile App. It ensures that all passengers and the pilot follow the appropriate procedure to transport people safely and quickly. The text is easy to read, and with only checkboxes, it's easy to fill out.

More than being an easy app, you can edit this and others to fit your unique needs. Maybe you want to know who was in the helicopter and to know how many people were being flown. With our app builder you dont need to know any code: simply drag and drop the fields you want into your app. This way, the pilot and employees enter their names in the form. You'll not only know who flew, but who was in the helicopter. 

With every form sent directly to the cloud, you can get this information back in real time. No one has to worry about holding onto a form, or protecting it from coffee, oil stains, or other hazards of life offshore. With cloud storage, you can get rid of filing cabinets, and find any form with a quick search. 

Another mobile inspection, Mosquito Helicopter Inspections: Safety Maintenance Mobile App, helps with general maintenance.You can add photos in your helicopter checks to have visual proof that everything looks correct. With automatic time and date stamps, you can always know that inspections happened at appropriate times. 

Intrigued? Check out our other customizable mobile form templates for Transportation and Warehousing or create your own from scratch with GoCanvas!

Working in distant places, it can be difficult to get internet access. But with GoCanvas, you can fill out any mobile inspection without internet access. Once you have access again, the submissions will be sent directly to the cloud. No matter where offshore oil rigs go, GoCanvas can too. 


Work in oil and gas, especially offshore, will always have some risks. However, with over half of the fatalities in offshore Oil & Gas happening during transport, improving transportation safety is crucial. Mobile helicopter inspections not only keeps operations running smoothly, but also saves lives.

Learn how to get rid of your paperwork and improve your safety processes in our free ebook.