Unite puts health & safety on agenda ahead of Pipe...

Unite puts health & safety on agenda ahead of Piper Alpha Conference

17 June 2013

Unite offshore representatives will attend this week’s Oil & Gas UK ‘Piper 25’ Conference in Aberdeen (Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20), calling for the oil and gas industry to intensify its health and safety agenda for the 21st century.

The event, jointly organised by the Step Change in Safety and HSE, marks the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha and will reflect on the lessons learned from the world’s worst offshore disaster where 167 workers lost their lives.

Unite believes the conference is an opportunity for the industry to redouble its efforts in tackling its safety challenges for the 21st century by properly engaging with workers and their trade unions, particularly in light of the recent issues with HSE cuts, offshore helicopter transport safety and an ageing offshore infrastructure,

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said, “The UK offshore oil & gas industry generates unimaginable wealth and will be the growth sector for the next thirty years, employing tens of thousands of workers. Our economy cannot do without it but with growth and profit also come great responsibilities.

Over the last year we’ve seen gas leaks on platforms like the Elgin and Super Puma helicopters ditching in the North Sea.  The UK Government cuts have resulted in the abolition of the HSE Offshore Safety Division (OSD) – a key recommendation of the Cullen Report.  Some fifty per cent of fixed platforms on the UK continental shelve have exceeded their 25-year live span. There is no shortage of challenges.  

The industry can go two ways. It can pursue a path of de-regulation and real-terms cuts in its infrastructure or it can invest in itself and the workforce - its most important resource.  And on the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster the offshore industry shouldn’t need any further incentive to do just that.”


Notes to Editors:  For further information, please contact Unite regional industrial officer Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920 who will be in attendance at the Conference and available for interviews.

The Oil & Gas UK PIPER25 event takes place Tuesday 18 June 8AM – Thursday 20 June 5PM, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB23 8BL.