Offshore oil industry receives safety warning from HSE

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The offshore oil and gas industry has been warned about its safety record as new statistics show increases in major injuries and unplanned hydrocarbon releases.

Figures released by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that there were 50 major injuries reported between 2009 and 2010. This is up from 20 major injuries reported between 2008 and 2009, and higher than the average of 42 over the previous five years. No workers were killed during activities regulated by HSE for the third year running.

A marked rise was also recorded between 2009-2010 in the combined number of major and significant hydrocarbon releases, regarded as potential precursors to a major incident. There were a total of 85 between 2009 and 2010 − up from 61 reported between 2008 and 09.

’This year’s overall health and safety picture is simply not good enough. The industry has shown it can do better and it must do in future,’ said Steve Walker, head of HSE’s offshore division.

’I am particularly disappointed and concerned that major and significant hydrocarbon releases are up by more than a third on last year. The offshore industry really must identify and rectify the root causes of such events,’ he added.