Simian Risk has won a contract to provide on-site training for Shell and the South Oil Company in Iraq.
The UK based consultancy firm, which launched in 2005 and has offices in Dubai, will provide bespoke scaffolding and work at height training and supervision at a new oil field site in Southern Iraq.
Simian Risk will be working closely alongside local workers to train and assist them in erecting scaffolding for building works at the site, which currently employs thousands of Iraqis.
Simian Risk Director Ian Fyall, who will be leading the project, said: "The aim of our training initiative is to create a culture of self sufficiency in the region. This is a massive project, with a whole infrastructure being built around the oil field. Therefore it is essential that those who work on the site fully understand the need for robust health and safety procedures, and adhere to those rules."
"The oil companies we are working with are placing a real emphasis on local employment; we will be out there initially for six months to bring the workers up to a high standard of health and safety. The country has seen so much turmoil and this is a great opportunity for the Iraqi people to take ownership of rebuilding their infrastructure - with homes, industry and offices. It is a privilege for Simian Risk to be able to play a small part in that, and create a safe and healthy working culture for the people of the region," Simian added.
Ian added that Simian Risk, which opened an office and training centre in Dubai last year, is looking to capitalise on the continued development of the Middle East oil and gas sector.
"The region's petrochemical sector offers some great opportunities and this is a very niche market that we have been able to expand into. It is still within scaffolding and working at height, just with a more industry orientated focus rather than construction. The construction sector is slowly picking up in the Middle East after the global recession, and we are working hard to get our name recognised for when the bigger developments start again, as we suspect they will."
Simian Risk was also the only UK firm to be invited to exhibit at the recent Middle East IOSH Conference, held at the prestigious Muscat Bank HQ in Oman. Simian Risk was one of four exhibitors at the conference, which was attended by 150 health and safety professionals and government representatives from across the Middle East.
Director Simon Hughes said: "We have been proactive members of IOSH Middle East for over a year and to be invited to exhibit at the Muscat Bank was a real coup for Simian Risk. The event was a great opportunity to get our business known in the region and develop strong relationships with other well known companies and local governments. We were invited to present at the conference last year and participated in a seminar on the need to develop strong working at height standards in the Middle East with the Abu Dhabi Municipality. The region is still some way behind the very high standards we have in place in the UK, but we can see many companies in the Middle East are working hard to improve health and safety. We are determined to play a part in this drive by providing first rate work at height training programmes to help reduce the number of industrial accidents in the region."
Directors Ian Fyall and Simon Hughes launched Simian Risk Group in Warrington in 2005. With more than 40 years of experience within the scaffolding industry, the business specialises in providing health and safety consultancy for work at height.
In 2010 Ian and Simon split the company into two divisions - Simian Risk and Simian Skill, taking on two new directors, Dave Randles and David Abraham for the respective divisions. Dave Randles became a shareholder in 2011. Dave and David also have more than 40 years of experience to add to that of Ian and Simon.