May 12, 2022

New technology may reduce negative accident trend offshore

New software for camera-based human detection can reduce the number of lifting accidents on platforms, ships and in terminals onshore.

Optilift is now ready to launch the People Detector software after several years of research and development. The software detects and warn operators of humans within the camera range with the aim to reduce the probability of human injury. This technology may help the negative trend of increased accidents within offshore crane and lifting on the NCS.     

Jan Ketil Moberg, head of logistics and emergency preparedness at Petroleum Safety Authority, Norway (PSA) welcomes new technology that can improve safety.

­– Figures from measurement of the risk level report (RNNP) show some negative trends for incidents in connection with crane and lifting operations in recent years. RNNP shows that operational conditions are increasingly identified as the underlying cause of the incidents.

­Moberg says PSA welcomes technological initiatives to reduce personnel injuries related to lifting operations.

Advanced sensor technology

According to Nylund, loading and lifting operations are today among the most accident-prone activities in the offshore industry.

– Our new system will improve the safety of employees who work with such operations on rigs, ships and in ports, says Nylund.

Optilift´s People Detector uses advanced sensor technology to capture people in a camera image. People caught on camera are rendered with a warning triangle onto the live video image on the crane monitor. The system works together with Optilift’s Sensor ONE, but can also be connected to other video feeds.

Rule sets can be programmed such as to warn the operator when a number of people in the loading area exceeds the maximum limits. Warnings and alerts may also be tactile or audible, according to end users’ needs.

Nylund says Optilift’s People Detector can be used on cranes both on- and offshore, on drilling decks, ship decks, terminals and on construction sites on land where people and machines interact.

– Our system does not prevent accidents on its own, but it is an extra safety barrier helping machine- and crane operators to   detect people and avoid situations that may lead to human injury, says Nylund.

Disturbing numbers

The offshore industry today has a zero-tolerance vision when it comes to accidents with personal injuries. But according to the Petroleum Safety Authority, Norway (PSA) the statistics show an increasing number of accident reports related to loading and unloading operations. PSA is an independent government regulator with responsibility for safety, emergency preparedness and the working environment in the Norwegian petroleum industry.

Its report «Risk level in Norwegian Petroleum Activities» (RNNP) for 2021 shows a steady increase in incidents with human injury over the past three years.

– I wish more had been done by the industry to reverse this negative trend. I think utilizing new technology is the only way in achieving the zero-tolerance vision says Nylund.

– Optilift’s People Detector technology will contribute to making loading and unloading operations safer. It will also function as an important barrier against collisions between cargo and people, says Nylund.


Optilift is continuously working on further developing the capability of its People Detector software. The goal is that the People detector will be integrated into the company’s anti-collision software. This technology, which is currently being tested, will make cranes able to stop automatically for any obstacles that could lead to collisions at the work sites.

Read more about People Detector here.