30 October 2019
RMT Press Office:
OFFSHORE Energy Union RMT today reacted with concern to an industry report on the safety record on UK oil and gas installations in 2018.
Trade association body Oil and Gas UK’s annual health and safety report shows increases in injuries and reportable safety incidents, including hydrocarbon releases, as well as a rising backlog of safety critical maintenance work on installations.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“This is an extremely worrying set of findings. The Health and Safety Executive’s warning to employers that they need to make progress in preventing hydrocarbon releases has clearly not been heeded and it is totally unacceptable to see the backlog of safety critical maintenance work creeping up again.
“Tax cuts and RMT members’ hard work are fuelling massive pay increases for oil executives, yet employers cannot even keep workers updated on efforts to improve the safety of helicopter transport.
“Whilst this report doesn’t cover the recent spate of safety incidents such as the evacuation of all workers on EnQuest’s Thistle platform earlier this month, it underlines the need for rapid improvement. The role of safety reps and wider workforce engagement policies on oil and gas installations in the North Sea must be part of that improvement.
“RMT will continue the fight to deliver the offshore safety culture of continuous improvement that every offshore worker and their family deserves. “
Notes to editors
1. OGUK’s Health and Safety report 2019 is here https://oilandgasuk.co.uk/reports/
2. The Health and Safety Executive wrote to all Duty Holders in April 2018 asking that they take steps to prevent major hydrocarbon releases (HCRs). The OGUK report says that was an ‘upward trend in HCRs in 2018.’
3. In 2014, there were major backlogs corrective/preventative, planned and deferred safety critical maintenance work. This was in decline but started to rise again in 2018, according to Figure 19 in today’s OGUK report.
4. We still await the outcome of the Civil Aviation Authority review of the helicopter safety improvements (CAP1145) introduced in the North Sea after the loss of four offshore workers, including RMT member Sarah Darnley in a Super Puma accident in August 2013.
5. The Fatal Accident Inquiry into the Sumburgh incident, as required by Scottish law, is expected to start next month, over six years after the fatal accident took place.
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