Incident Investigators Warn Against Complacency in Offshore Safety

From: Kelvin TOP-SET
Published: Mon Feb 08 2010

KELVIN TOP-SET, the Scottish-based international incident investigations group, has warned of complacency over safety after it was revealed that the UK oil and gas industry is lagging behind other areas of the world.

Lost time injury frequency statistics from the International Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) showed that the UK reported 1.17 injury incidents per 1 million hours worked in 2008 - significantly less than the European average of 1.38.
The figures show that the UK’s safety record stands head and shoulders above many other countries, including Italy where they reported 2.76 incidents, Denmark 2.20, Norway 1.79 and Ireland 1.38. The worst was Japan with 3.07 incidents per million working hours.

However, compared to other areas such as Holland (0.95), France (0.79), Spain (0.69), Germany (0.47), Canada (0.67), North America (0.55), it appears the UK has still room for improvement.

Other nations such as those in the former Soviet Union (0.45) and China (0.19) also have lower reported instances of lost production time due to injuries while, on paper at least, countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, and Ghana, which all claim to have had zero incidents, appear to have the best safety records of all.

"One of the reasons some countries, such as those in the Former Soviet Union, China and South America, appear to have less lost time due to injuries is that they often have different reporting structures," said David Ramsay of Kelvin TOP-SET, the world’s leading international incident investigations group.

"The UK industry is very strict on its reporting procedures and almost all the offshore oil and gas companies have upped, or at the very least maintained, their game on health and safety, but there is no room for complacency.

"The HSE’s Key Programme 3 (KP3) initiative has greatly improved routine maintenance and safety but there are still some widespread practices and conditions which need to be tackled."

Kelvin TOP-SET is considered the world leader in incident investigation software and training.

The Ayrshire-based company, which has offices in Aberdeen, Rio, Perth, Australia and Houston, provides some of the world’s biggest organisations with expertise in investigating incidents within the marine, aviation, explosive, chemical, oil and gas and transport industries.

The company is already a world leader in incident examination techniques with experienced investigators working in 32 countries across four continents.

"In the wake of the Piper Alpha disaster Lord Cullen recommended the industry and its regulators implement more than 100 changes," said Mr Ramsay.

"Much tougher legislation came in with a system of independent verification by HSE. That coupled with billions of pounds of corporate investment has made the industry much safer.

"However, while congratulations are in order for the work that has been done it is important the UK offshore industry remains vigilant. Last year lifting and carrying injuries were responsible for the vast majority of offshore incidents so that’s an area that requires greater attention," added Mr Ramsay.

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Many of the world’s major oil, gas, aviation, marine, rail, explosive and industrial companies use the Kelvin TOP-SET methodology, which is recognised as the world benchmark for investigation practice, to train staff how to carry out quick and comprehensive analysis of all kinds of major and minor incidents.

International clients include Kuwait National Petroleum, the Dutch Accident Investigation board, Transport for London, Maersk, Irish Explosives, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, Aker, Shell, Technip, Taqa and Transocean.
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