It is 29 years since the Piper Alpha tragedy which killed 167 workers in the North Sea.
The tragedy is all the more poignant, given that Lord Cullen’s subsequent report into the disaster criticised the operator, Occidental, for inadequate maintenance and safety procedures. This coincided with a fall in the price of oil to $30 a barrel and when costs were being scrutinised.
We look now to the North Sea, where jobs are being lost, costs are being cut and the price of oil has plummeted and hope and trust that platform operators have learned lessons from Piper Alpha.
Unite Scottish secretary, Pat Rafferty said: “Unite stands in silence today to remember the 167 lives that were lost this day 29 years ago on the Piper Alpha platform and for the families whose lives were ripped apart.
“We join with those that survived the tragedy and who live with the memory of that fateful day and of colleagues and friends lost.
“We also remember individual acts of courage."
“This is a tragedy that could have been avoided. When costs become more important than safety, the result can be catastrophic.
“We will continue to remember those lost on Piper Alpha, they serve to remind us that corners must never be cut and that the job done by workers in the North Sea is one of the most dangerous around.”
Notes to editors
For further information or comment contact Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920.
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty