Workplace accident news

New drive to cut offshore workplace accident toll

In an effort to reduce the likelihood of a workplace accident for those employed offshore in the North Sea oil and gas industry, a major safety project has been announced.

Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) and Step Change in Safety together have set a target of reducing leaks by half over the next three years.

Step Change, which is urging company heads to include leak reduction in their business plans, says its actions will include sharing with its member companies analysis of the root causes of incidents, addressing the management of ageing assets and circulating best practice.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said that the number of leaks in British waters in the 12 months from April 1, 2009, was a five-year record of 85, up 24 on 2008-09. The figures for hydrocarbon leaks, with their potential to cause an industrial injury accident, had been reducing since 1997 but this progress has halted.

Head of the HSE's offshore division Steve Walker said he was concerned by the increased risk of a work-related accident occurring and said it was up to the offshore industry to identify the causes of the problems and put them right.

A major gas leak on the Alba Northern platform in the North Sea was investigated by the HSE after an accident, in November 2010, when 100 workers were in such danger of suffering a work injury that evacuation was considered.

If management of gas and oil installations fails to improve safety procedures and a work-related accident occurs, it is likely that victims or their dependents may be eligible to make a compensation claim through a no win no fee solicitor for their suffering or loss of earnings.


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