Sustained effort, investment needed for UK offshore installations

A new review from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concludes that “although the safety of the UK’s offshore installations is improving, the work is by no means complete and will require sustained effort and investment.”

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN -- A new review from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concludes that “although the safety of the UK’s offshore installations is improving, the work is by no means complete and will require sustained effort and investment.”

This new review comes eighteen months after the “Key Programme 3 Report,” which reported findings from a three-year investigation into safety on more than 100 offshore installations.

HSE’s findings are based on feedback from industry stakeholders, HSE offshore division inspection reports and case studies, work undertaken by the Workforce Involvement Group of the Offshore Industry Advisory Committee (OIAC), and a large-scale survey of the workforce.

Key findings of the review include:
• Remedial work has taken place to rectify matters giving serious cause for concern, such as fire doors and deluge systems
• Considerably raised awareness of the need for effective process safety management and major hazard risk control
• Leadership in integrity management is now firmly on the industry’s agenda and has been effectively promoted through the sector
• Good progress has been made on fabric and general plant maintenance, but aging infrastructure means that this will be an ongoing challenge
• Evidence culture in the industry is changing with more open sharing taking place between organizations
• Issues regarding competence are less acute, with the industry devoting significant resources to training and major hazard awareness and with major hazard risk controls and the role of installation integrity better understood by the offshore workforce
•Opportunities remain for further improving involvement by the workforce and safety representatives.

“Though the findings of this review are encouraging, the challenges are ongoing and should not be underestimated, says Ian Whewell, head of HSE’s offshore division. “The offshore infrastructure continues to get older and remedial work in some areas is yet to be completed. Momentum must continue to prevent the assets degrading to the unacceptable levels identified in the 2007 KP3 report.”

07/15/2009

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