A North Sea health and safety leader has underlined the need for industry to take the “good practice” it has developed into the transition.
And Mr Rae, a survivor of Piper Alpha, the world’s worst ever offshore disaster, urged energy bosses to share their stories to influence attitudes to health and safety.
The industry veteran told the Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) HSE conference in Aberdeen on Tuesday that the best way to enact change is to recount “personal experiences”.
“The most impactful way you can influence those coming into this industry, and those who think this is always going to be a safe industry, is to story tell. To share experience. Make it impactful. Make people stand up and listen,” he said.
“We are all capable of influencing, and we all have stories to tell. Online meetings are important, and they have been vital for us over the last two years, but they don’t necessarily provide the perfect forum for doing that.
“These sessions, these events, these gatherings, provide access to that medium. I am calling on you all to share your experiences.”
Offshore safety standards were changed forever when the Piper Alpha platform, about 120 miles north-east of Aberdeen, exploded on July 6, 1988.
A total of 167 people were killed in the disaster – Mr Rae was one of just 61 men who survived.
Since then the oil and gas industry has changed greatly, and it is now entering a new dawn as the drive to decarbonise energy sources hots up.
Mr Rae says maintaining safety standards is imperative to attracting the new talent needed to deliver the transition.
He said: “I’m part of this big crew change that is going on right now. I’m not quite there yet, but I will be soon I’m sure. One of the most important things in the next year to 18 months is to ensure we identify and help those younger generations into this industry.
“It is an extremely motivating and safe place to work, despite it being a major accident hazard industry.
“Deirdre (Michie, OEUK chief executive) quoted some statistics earlier from the 2021 HSE report. We should never be proud of zero fatalities – that should be an expectation.
“We should never be overly proud about zero major escapes of hydrocarbons – that should be an expectation. We can believe that to be an expectation if we all choose to work hard in doing it.”