Unite believes that today’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) special bulletin continues to miss the point of offshore workers concerns over the Super Puma fleet and leaves key questions unanswered.
The AAIB released brief details regarding their initial findings, revealing the events leading up to the fatal crash of Friday 23 August and some detail into how and why the helicopter hit the waters off the Shetland coast.
However, despite summarising there has been no evidence of technical failure as a cause of the crash to date, no further information is provided as to why the Super Puma submerged so quickly upon impact leaving four passengers dead and one seriously injured.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said, “The AAIB report does nothing to alleviate offshore workers fears about the safety of the Super Puma fleet nor does it provide any further detail into why four people could not escape the crash with their lives.
“Unite believes the industry and authorities are missing the point: It’s not just about whether the Super Puma fleet is airworthy, more urgently it’s a question of whether they are fit for the safe transportation of people to and from offshore installations.
“We reiterate our call not to delay on the immediate steps the industry can take now regarding offshore helicopter safety such as reducing passenger capacity, seat re-configuration and re-calibrating survival training models in order to maximise the safety of workers.
“Confidence remains shattered as many questions remain unanswered and we simply can’t afford to wait on the AAIB final report - which could take months - to start the process of urgent reform in offshore health and safety.”
Notes to editors: For further information please contact Peter Welsh, Unite Scotland communications on 07810 157931.
Unite is Britain and Ireland's largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.