‘53% of workers not confident’ in offshore helicopter safety

More than 53% of workers said they are “not confident” in the safety of helicopter transfers to and from oil and gas installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). That’s […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

More than 53% of workers said they are “not confident” in the safety of helicopter transfers to and from oil and gas installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

That’s the findings from the Unite union which surveyed more than 1,100 workers as part of the ‘Back Home Safe’ campaign.

It claims a majority of offshore workers said they lack confidence, “particularly with the Eurocopter Super Puma fleet”.

More than three quarters (77%) also said their confidence in helicopter safety had decreased in the last 12 months after three ditches that took place in 2012/13, including a fatal crash in August where four workers lost their lives.

Unite regional industrial officer Tommy Campbell said: “The Back Home Safe survey results reinforce what the oil and gas industry already knows and needs to address: worker confidence in offshore helicopter safety has been shattered… We need to urgently work together to reform safety standards and restore worker confidence in commercial helicopter transfers to and from oil and gas installations in the UKCS.

“The industry needs to evolve with its environment and with twenty fatalities in the last four years there should be a moral obligation to act on the concerns of its most important resource – its people.”

The findings follow a petition sent to Oil & Gas UK last week signed by more than 3,000 workers calling for improvements in offshore helicopter design, survival contingencies and training to maximise the safety of workers.