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Health, Safety & Environment

The Personnel Transfer Net

In the early days in the offshore industry, workers were transported to platforms or drilling rigs by boat. Offshore facilities were usually equipped with a knotted rope suspended from an overhead beam. Once the boat was alongside the structure, each person would try to grab the knotted rope when the boat was on the crest of a wave and swing over to the boat landing. This was a tricky maneuver and resulted in a number of accidents and serious injuries.

In 1955, Billy Pugh developed his "Billy Pugh Net" for safe transfer of personnel between boats and platforms/rigs by crane. The Billy Pugh Net gained acceptance very quickly and is still the standard of the industry. The Billy Pugh Co. also developed other personnel safety devices including flotation work vests and litters. They also developed the recovery nets used to retrieve Apollo astronauts from the ocean in emergencies.


Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following individuals and companies who contributed to the development of this technology:

Billy Pugh
Billy Pugh Co., Inc.


2011 Call for Nominations
2011 Industry Pioneer Nomination Form 
2011 Technology Pioneer Nomination Form

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