It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Billy Pugh Company introduced the revolutionary X-904 personnel transfer device; a complete design departure from anything seen before in the offshore oil and gas industry. This device was (and is) a collaboration between BPC and the offshore oil and gas industry itself.
In the early part of the new millennium, it became apparent that we needed to develop a new personnel transfer device to supplement the industry standard, the Billy Pugh personnel net. We spent 2003 and 2004 surveying what was working with the current available designs. At this time there were other personnel transfer alternatives on the market other than the traditional personnel net. Our objective was to see what features from the all of the available products were applicable to a safe transfer. Multiple focus groups from both operators and contractors were interviewed- their feedback was critical in the product development of the X-904. We made sure to include everyone that could bring expertise and perspective to the table. We included personnel from HSE, operations, lifting, training, as well as riggers, riders and crane operators. We spent most of our time listening and the result was quite amazing.
Based on accident data and the feedback from our customers, we determined that there were three main areas that needed to be addressed.
- Outer protection for the rider
- Overhead protection
- Fall restraint/man positioning
We also learned that the “good ole” Billy Pugh personnel transfer net had some key features that were critical in the eyes of the industry.
Those things were:
- Transfer in a standing position facing inward
- Do not overly restrain riders so that they can have a quick egress and keep their ability to move away from the device in an emergency
- Collapsibility for easy storage
Once the first prototypes were built, we were fortunate to have several operators and contractors help us test these new designs offshore. We provided surveys and used the feedback to further enhance the design that we had spent so much time and effort developing. The success has far exceeded any expectation that we had when it was introduced in 2005.
We could not be happier with the accomplishments of the X-904 in these past 10 years. We pledge to continue to listen to our customers, and exceed your safety expectations. For almost 60 years we have worked with the offshore oil and gas industry to supply safety equipment that enhances the safety of personnel working in this challenging environment. The X-904 follows this tradition of cooperation between BPC and industry. Thank you for making the X-904 the most successful product in Billy Pugh Co.’s history.