Les Linklater

Offshore Europe

Les Linklater: Embracing new realities?


In sitting down to write this article with another Offshore Europe looming, I was struck by the conference theme of embracing new realities and what that might mean for safety in our industry. So, I thought I’d share the backbone of a speech given at an Institute of Petroleum in September 1996 that led to the launch Step Change in Safety just one year later, at Offshore Europe in 1997.


Opinion: Remembering Piper Alpha


As an apprentice at Dounreay back in July 1988, I remember very clearly travelling the 22 miles from Thurso across the far north east corner of Scotland to Wick, to look out to sea.


Les Linklater: Four by four

It’s hard to believe that four years ago, I stepped into the role here at Step Change in Safety. Like my New Year’s resolutions, my hopes and the reality didn’t always align. Since day one, there have been many successes and Step Change’s strategic priorities have evolved. But, sadly, there have been tragic and stark reminders of just how much is still to be done.


Les Linklater: Remember, Remember the 5th of November


The infamous Guy Fawkes belonged to a group who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The plotters hid a large amount of gunpowder in a cellar beneath the House of Lords in an assassination attempt on the King. However, the authorities received a ‘tip off’ and searched the Palace of Westminster in the early hours of the 5th of November where they found Fawkes guarding the gunpowder.


Opinion: 42 – The ultimate question?


There are a lot of important things related to the number 42. There are 42 US gallons in a barrel of oil. The three best-selling music albums – Michael Jackson’s Thriller, AC/DC’s Back in Black and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon – all last 42 minutes. Buzz Lightyear’s spaceship is called 42. Cricket has 42 laws (apparently!) I’ll leave you to decide which is the most important out of those. According to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the number 42 is “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything!” But for us as an industry, it represents a great division of opinion. Why? Think about it; what does three on/three off, or 21 + 21 equal? 42.