Trade unions for offshore workers joined forces today with industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) to decry proposed EU safety regulation, saying it could set the industry back years.
In a joint statement, the RMT, Unite and OGUK said the proposed legislation would have a serious detrimental impact on standards of safety and environmental protection on the UK continental shelf (UKCS).
They added it was poorly drafted and ambiguous, had impractical timescales and would require the re-writing or revocation of significant parts of the existing legislation.
It would also see almost 300 UK safety cases currently provided by operators in the UK needing to be redrafted, resubmitted to the Health and Safety Executive and re-accepted, which would damage investment, they said.
It also pointed out the UK’s regime had been created over time and with collaboration between the regulator, industry and workforce. John Taylor, Unite’s regional industrial organiser, said: “The proposed EU regulation will do nothing to improve safety offshore. If allowed to come in, it will set offshore safety back years.”
OGUK chief executive Malcolm Webb said: “We fear that far from adding any tangible benefit to the UK’s world-class system, moving overall responsibility for offshore safety to the EU, which has absolutely no experience or competence in the area, would undermine our high standards of offshore safety and environmental protection.”
Mr Webb will reinforce the sector’s concern over the proposed regulation at a seminar in London on Thursday.