Unions from the UK and Norway have established a dedicated working group to improve helicopter safety across the North Sea oil and gas industry.
Officials from the UK’s Unite, RMT, BALPA, GMB Nautilus, IPA and Prospect met in Norway on Monday with the Industri Energi union to establish the Trade Union Helicopter Safety Committee (TUHSC).
The group will work together with Norway’s LO Helicopter committee, a group of six Norwegian trade unions, as well as colleagues from the Netherlands and Denmark to compare standards and share lessons across the sector.
Following its inaugural meeting, the TUHSC said there was a “cross section of issues” within the sector, including commercial pressures, problems with regulations, training and safety equipment which it will focus on.
RMT regional officer Jake Molloy has been elected a chairman of the group.
He said: “Through the TUHSC we aim to convey the views and objectives of those most affected when systems fail.
“The engineers servicing the aircraft, the pilots up front and the passengers in the back all have a vested interest and common goals.
“It makes sense that we come together to work collectively and coordinate our efforts to achieve the best outcomes in safety performance.”
The move comes following a series of fatal crashes in the North Sea involving the Super Puma helicopter, which is now out of commission in the region.
Last year safety concerns were also raised after a “crack” was found on the horizontal stabiliser of a H175 helicopter in the UK.
Meanwhile an investigation was launched last March when a helicopter landed on the wrong platform.
In 2018 an inquiry was launched after an H175 had a collapsed landing gear.
Investigators found was due to “lack of experience and fatigue” after an engineer had been given only two days’ rest over a 31-day period.