NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

'Progress made' after regulator's offshore safety warning

Oil installation Image copyright Getty Images

Progress has been made after offshore operators were warned about the number of gas releases in the industry, according to safety officials.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said in April that some had come "perilously close to disaster" and that more needed to be done.

It said a "lack of leadership" was often to blame for leaks.

The regulator said a "greater focus" had been placed on process safety management.

The HSE had written to operators ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.

The platform exploded in July 1988, leaving 167 men dead.

'Challenge remains'

It said it had become concerned by the number of releases still happening.

The regulator has met representatives of industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), and the health and safety managers of several of the UK's offshore producers.

Russell Breen, operations manager within HSE's energy division said: "It's clear from the responses we received that a much greater focus has been placed on process safety management within the industry in recent years, and there are some great individual examples of leadership commitment being shown.

"Finding better, more expedient ways of sharing both the causes and learning from incidents, as well as the examples of good and bad practice we find through our inspections, is a challenge that remains for us all.

"Good progress has been made on this in recent months, and we will continue to engage with OGUK to help facilitate such sharing, for the benefit of everyone in the industry."

Oil and Gas UK health and safety director Matt Abraham said: "We've always been clear that industry will not shirk from the HSE's challenge and we're pleased that this has been recognised by the HSE.

"Whilst this is a positive recognition of our efforts there is no room for complacency."

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