UK strengthens offshore safety record
Management of major safety hazards has improved in the UK offshore sector, according to Oil & Gas UK’s Health & Safety 2015 Report.
The total number of oil and gas leaks is at its lowest level ever, based on incidents reported to Britain’s Health and Safety Executive between April 2014 and March 2015.
The non-fatal injury rate for offshore workers also continued to decline.
One of the sector’s main recent achievements was securing effective search and rescue helicopter cover for offshore workers in the UK central North Sea, the report added.
Aviation safety measures included a new emergency breathing system for offshore flights and changes to helicopter seating allocation based on passenger size.
The industry also has been preparing for the introduction into UK law of the EU Offshore Safety Directive.
There appears to be a growing backlog of safety-critical maintenance on UK offshore installations. However, Robert Paterson, health, safety and employment issues director at Oil & Gas UK, said: “Decisions on deferring maintenance are taken following robust management systems that assess risk and involve the relevant technical and engineering authorities.
“All operators are also being encouraged to participate in providing data to all stakeholders to best reflect how the industry as a whole is managing safety-critical maintenance.”