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Progress Made In Offshore Safety, Says Watchdog

In April this year the HSE declared that some offshore operators may had come ‘perilously close to disaster’ down to a lack of leadership.

With a focus on health and safety on offshore oil rigs, wherein a robust emergency response procedure will be in place, it may have surprised some when in April this year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) declared that some offshore operators may had come ‘perilously close to disaster’ down to a lack of leadership.

According to the BBC, the cause of this peril was gas leaks, which had been caused in part by a lack of leadership on safety procedures. The letter was issued ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Alpha Piper disaster, in which 167 men died, as the HSE said it was concerned by the number of gas releases still occurring.

However, now, the HSE has met with industry executives from Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), as well as safety managers from offshore oil and gas producers to give them an update on progress in recent months.

Russell Breen, Operations Manager within HSE's energy division, said that “great progress” had been made in recent months. He also outlined how the HSE has acknowledged that a greater focus has been placed on safety management procedures, as well as examples of strong individual leadership being outlined in response to their letter.

Oil and Gas UK Health and Safety Director Matt Abraham was happy with the update, commenting "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.”

He said that was important for the industry to keep on working with the HSE and to not allow itself to become complacent.