Safety at work continues to improve in N. Sea

N Sea safety Zero fatalities in 2015Personal safety performance across N. Sea oil and gas operations continued to improve in 2015, according to the latest Oil & Gas UK Health & Safety Report published today.

There were no reported fatalities and reportable injury rates for the offshore oil and gas industry – using a metric set by the regulator – were lower than other sectors such as manufacturing, construction, retail and education,

The lost-time injury frequency rate in the N. Sea was below the European average and lower than Norway, Denmark and Ireland.

The category of dangerous occurrences – which captures oil and gas releases, fires or explosions, dropped objects and weather damage – was also down overall, recording almost a 30% fall between 2013 and 2015.

Within that category, the total number of oil and gas releases rose slightly by 9%, with the majority of these classified as minor, while major releases remained the same.

A rise in minor releases could partially reflect that more and more operators are using technology that helps detect the smallest of escapes. New reporting criteria also came into place in the second half of 2015 and now includes releases that were not deemed reportable under previous legislation.  

Hydrocarbon releases are a constant focus for industry which is committed to bringing these down.

Industry has worked hard to reverse the increase in safety-critical maintenance backlog, reported in last year’s Oil & Gas UK Health & Safety Report. A reduction across all three categories of planned, corrective and deferred backlog is now reported.

Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment policy director at Oil & Gas UK, said: “This favourable performance reflects well on the contributions from everyone involved – offshore and onshore – and their unstinting efforts to manage and control hazards and to continually improve safety performance.”


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