‘Safety is a mindset. It’s at the core of our job.’


Arno Nijhuis is an offshore operator, trainer/assessor and someone who lives and breathes what Ampelmann stands for. “Safety is the most important thing,” he says. “It’s at the core of our job.”

As an operator for the A-, E- and L-types as well as the E1000, Arno has been working for Ampelmann across markets and regions for more than eight years now. In his role as trainer/assessor, he is mostly focused on the training trajectory for the L-types – for operators and for vessel crew like captains and first officers.

“I really enjoy training other people, helping them by sharing my knowledge and seeing them become more experienced and confident in what they are doing,” Arno says.

Ampelmann Arno Nijhuis 2

Safety as a mindset

Arno finds his work to be very important as he prepares operators-to-be for all possible conditions offshore. After all, it is not always nice and sunny on the open sea. “If we are connected to a structure, I ask the trainee operator to think about what they would do in case of an emergency, say a code red. If you play this scenario in your head, you are prepared to act safely if it happens in reality.”

It goes without saying that safety offshore is Arno’s utmost priority. So much so, in fact, that it needs to become second nature. It starts with your own safety, he explains, and continues to the safety of everybody around you, and even people on the platform or windmill.

“As Ampelmann operators, we always check if the transferee has all the right PPE just before we give them the green light to cross the gangway. That’s the reason we have them wait for the green light next to us, so we can have one last check.”

It is this kind of commitment to safety that Arno aims to instill in his trainees. His role as trainer/assessor, gives him the opportunity to closely focus on the person he’s working with, on their weak points and on their path to improvement.

“When I first start with a new trainee, I make sure to stand by them and guide them through the different steps. Quite soon, though, I take more distance and let them think for themself and give them the space to make the right decisions,” Arno says. “This way they find out that they know what to do and they understand the different actions they need to take to operate the Ampelmann system.”

In Ampelmann’s mission to set the standard in safety and efficiency in the offshore access industry, the company is committed to providing an excellent service at all times, worldwide. Training offshore operators to become safety leaders is part of that service.

Arno on training

“I really enjoy training other people, helping them by sharing my knowledge and seeing them become more experienced and confident in what they are doing.”


Get to know Arno:

  • When not working for Ampelmann, Arno performs safety inspections on playground equipment and water slides, at schools, public swimming pools and campsites.
  • In the wintertime, “I follow the migratory birds and become a climate refugee: I take my campervan and drive to the south of Spain.”
  • Following the point above, it should not come as a surprise that he says: “I just love the sun."