NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Piper Alpha survivor takes up Step Change in Safety executive director role

Steve Rae Image copyright Step Change in Safety
Image caption Steve Rae was one of 61 Piper Alpha survivors

A survivor of the Piper Alpha disaster has been appointed as the executive director of the safety body of the UK's oil and gas industry.

Steve Rae was one of the 61 people who survived when the platform exploded on 6 July 1988.

A total of 167 men lost their lives.

Mr Rae - whose association with Step Change in Safety dates back to 2007 - said his new role was an opportunity to shape the "future safety culture" of the industry.

The North Sea tragedy remains the world's worst offshore disaster.

Mr Rae, from Aberdeen, began working as an offshore technician in the early 1980s, and was on several North Sea installations before being assigned to Piper Alpha.

He said his escape from the disaster led to a career-long desire to improve safety.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The platform exploded in 1988

He also became chairman of the Pound for Piper charity trust, which provides support for the upkeep of the Piper Alpha monument and North Sea Memorial Rose Gardens in Aberdeen's Hazlehead Park.

Mr Rae said of his appointment: "Words cannot express how honoured I feel to have been appointed as the executive director of Step Change in Safety.

"For me, the role presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a significant part in shaping the future safety culture in our industry. Those who know me personally, or have heard me talk, will appreciate how much this means to me."

Radical overhaul

Mr Rae will take up the new role in July.

The Piper Alpha platform suffered a series of explosions, the result of gas from a leaking pump igniting.

Lord Cullen's report into the disaster after a 13-month inquiry led to a radical overhaul of safety practices.

All 106 recommendations for the oil and gas industry were accepted.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites