‘No complacency’ over reduced reportable offshore incidents

Last year, a total of 255 reportable incidents were notified to the health and safety regulator –the lowest on record.
Last year, a total of 255 reportable incidents were notified to the health and safety regulator –the lowest on record.

We recently published our Health and Safety Report 2018. Our annual report reflects on safety performance in the last year and looks at a range of issues affecting industry.

It showed welcome improvements in health and safety in 2017 across a broad range of indicators.

But in the year where we marked 30 years since Piper Alpha, our message is clear – we cannot afford to become complacent.

The health – both mental and physical – of our colleagues remains a top priority for industry.

It’s why Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), through our health and hygiene technical group, will undertake a review later this year in what is a very complex area.

With mental ill health affecting one in four people at some point in their lives, understanding the issues and being clear on how best we can help is a worthy area of focus.

Hence, the purpose of the review is to ensure the action we take is consistent and recognises best practice.

Last year, a total of 255 reportable incidents were notified to the health and safety regulator –the lowest on record. It’s nearly 70% lower than those reported in 2000-01.

This highlights just how far we’ve come and how hard we’ve worked to protect the people in our industry.

The RIDDOR reportable hydrocarbon release trend has seen a steady decline over the past seven years. However, the report also shows that major hydrocarbon releases, whilst down since 2012, have plateaued at around two per year in the last few years. These are the ones the HSE referred to in their letter to operators back in April and we all have a responsibility to prevent them.

OGUK is playing its part by co-ordinating industry action, in partnership with Step Change in Safety, to reduce hydrocarbon releases. We are all too aware of the personal and long-lasting consequences if things go wrong.

As we discussed at Safety 30, it’s not all about plant and process. Having people with the right skills, experience and knowledge to do their job properly and safely is a key element in making sure the worst doesn’t happen.

We have a clear duty of care to protect the workforce as they carry out their vital roles, and this includes areas such as process safety, personal safety, aviation and health.

As our industry emerges from a sustained downturn, the health and safety of our people remains a core value and is at the heart of all that we do. We are dedicated to ensuring lessons are learned and good practice is continually shared, and that we build on our collective work to date.

Trevor Stapleton, health and safety manager, Oil & Gas UK

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