International authorities are coming together to develop solutions to the risks in one of the world’s most dangerous workplaces.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has joined forces with global workforce solutions provider Air Energi Group to identify and analyse the challenges within the oil and gas industries, specifically to do with workforce-related risks.

The plan will be based on the findings of a recent report, which identified the six core areas of ‘people risk’: project appeal, recruitment, induction and onboarding, retention, reassignment and demobilisation, and compliance, with the overarching risk of being unable to deliver a project on time and within budget.

The team hopes to create an online tool specifically to evaluate the people risks in Australasia's LNG sector.

“The online tool will enable project managers to pinpoint the particular workforce challenges that are likely to occur on a project, so they can develop strategies to deal with them,” said lead researcher for the project, QUT Business School senior lecturer, Dr Karen Becker.

QUT Researcher Michelle Smidt says the tool currently being developed would enable the development of an overall workforce risk profile for each project.

“While risk analyses are often completed for workplace health and safety aspects of projects, we believe this is the first time a tool has been created to enable the development of the 'people risks' involved in all stages of a project,” she said.

“The tool will help managers understand at what stages and why their 'red flag' challenges will occur.”

“With an unprecedented level of LNG projects in the pipeline, there are concerns that workforce costs and continued personnel shortages could contribute to further project delays or cancellations. This will be critical to the future development of projects in Australasia and the booming LNG markets of North America and East Africa,” said the LNG director of Air Energi, Matt Smith.

“Australia's current LNG boom will last through to 2018, therefore attracting and retaining personnel will remain very competitive,” he said.

“The cost overruns and schedule delays being experienced in Australia's LNG sector currently are just as applicable to any industry and region where projects have capital-intensive and highly technical requirements. This is why it is so important that businesses take these lessons learned, and think differently about identifying and managing their people-related risks, particularly in large and complex projects.”

The report outlining key findings from the recent research can be found here.