Offshore workers together with Unite, the country's biggest union are launching the ‘Back Home Safe’ campaign on Wednesday 6 November (see notes to editors), which calls for immediate improvements to the safety of offshore flights.
Since August’s offshore tragedy, Unite has led an extensive consultation with offshore workers on the current safety of offshore flights. A survey of 532 workers found that over half, 50.7 per cent of workers are not confident about the safety of offshore helicopter flights. A further 81 per cent of workers said that their level of confidence in helicopter flights had decreased in the last 12 months.
Our consultation shows that the vast majority of offshore workers are calling for:
• increased investment to create a larger offshore fleet
• changes to the internal seat configuration on offshore helicopters
• changes to the design of helicopters used for passenger transfers offshore
• internal emergency lighting fitted to helicopters to aid evacuation
• immediate implementation of all safety recommendations from past offshore helicopter incidents
• independent review to improve contingencies in the event of a ditching (to maximise the survival time for workers)
• improved survival equipment and training for workers.
Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: "Offshore workers are launching a really important campaign to improve offshore safety and to save lives. Unite has spoken to hundreds of offshore workers who have clearly expressed their legitimate concerns but they have also made concrete proposals to improve safety.
"Over 1500 offshore workers have already backed a petition calling for action which will be presented to Oil and Gas UK next month. Overwhelmingly offshore workers are demanding action from the industry to improve the safety of offshore helicopter flights - Oil and Gas UK must now act."
The campaign will be launched by Tommy Campbell Unite regional officer with Chris Gordon from Thompsons solicitors and Unite offshore representatives in attendance.
For more information or to attend the event contact Willie Thomson on 07810 157 910. Alternatively contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315.
Notes to editors:
The campaign launch will take place at:
Where: Unite Office 42-44 King Street Aberdeen AB24 2JT
When: Wednesday 6 November
Time: 10:30 – 11:30
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.