News

NEWS: RMT issues modern day warning for Piper Alpha memorial day

By on

Thirty years on from the worst oil disaster in history, the offshore industry is in danger of repeating mistakes that saw 167 workers killed in the Piper Alpha explosion, the RMT has warned.


165 offshore workers and two seafarers died when the Piper Alpha platform, 120 miles north east of Aberdeen in the North Sea, was set ablaze on the night of 6 July 1988.

Issuing a statement to coincide with national commemorations taking place on 6 July this year, National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers general secretary Mick Cash, said: “Respecting the memory of the Piper Alpha victims should mean adopting the highest possible standards that put safety before profit.

“Regrettably, however, the business model that has developed in the North Sea especially since the 2014 downturn is putting unwelcome pressure on our members.”

He said that a combination of overly long shifts, a crisis of confidence in the safety of helicopter transport and ineffective regulations were the main issues at stake.

“Employers, government, regulators must do more for the safety of offshore workers. The consequences of complacency are unthinkable,” he added.

165 workers died in the Piper Alpha platform disaster on 6 July 1988. Photograph: REX Features

A total of 160,000 jobs have been lost in the North Sea oil and gas industry since 2014 when the oil price began its downward spiral from $100 to $30 a barrel by 2016.

RMT says remaining staff have seen increased shift patterns imposed, pay cuts and erosion of employment rights, since the crash.

The 30th anniversary day also saw MPs sign an early day motion for Piper Alpha to highlight ongoing issues in offshore safety.

The motion called for better enforcement of regulation, noting the ‘ongoing delay’ in publication of the updated workforce engagement guide for HSE inspectors offshore. It also called on the government to ‘better regulate the offshore business environment in the interests of safer working on installations and in the supply chain.’

Read Piper Alpha, 25 years on a Safety Management dossier: www.britsafe.org/smm/piper-alpha-25-years-anniversary-supplement/ 

 

NEWS


iStock-498879170-credit-VasukiRao-min 420.jpg

Indian urea fertiliser plants 'must improve their disaster management plans'

By Gajal Gupta on 20 September 2019

India’s fertiliser manufacturing industry is performing well in reducing its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, but its record on water use, water efficiency and plant health and safety is a cause for concern, a new report has warned.



Aquatic test after chemical incident_SMLL.jpg

UK safety and environmental law enforcers ‘hamstrung' by 10 years of cuts

By Belinda Liversedge on 09 September 2019

Funding and capability of the UK’s leading enforcement agencies, from the Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to Forestry Commission has dropped, on average, by 50 per cent in the past 10 years.



Zero paid holiday entitlement - chart JPG FOR WEB.jpg

Millions of UK workers missing out on basic rights: Resolution Foundation report

By Belinda Liversedge on 16 September 2019

Around one in twenty workers report not receiving any holiday entitlement, while around one in ten do not receive a payslip according to new analysis published today by the Resolution Foundation.