NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Size of offshore oil workers to be studied

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Media captionThe average weight of an offshore worker has risen by 19%

A study into the size of offshore oil workers has been announced.

Figures available to the UK industry indicate that each worker is, on average, 19% heavier than was the case in the mid-1980s.

Weight is routinely measured before offshore helicopter flights. Scans will now by made of 600 workers to determine whether the offshore infrastructure can cope with the current workforce.

The industry said it wanted to know if workers were taller or just heavier.

The process of gathering and analysing the data is expected to take two years.

Dr Arthur Stewart, of Robert Gordon University's obesity research centre, said: "The only thing we know about the current offshore workforce is its weight.

"We suspect some of that increase may be down to an increase in height, but more probably an increase in body size."

Robert Paterson, health and safety director at industry body Oil and Gas UK, said the information would help in future with issues such as survival suit and room sizes.

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