OPITO Urges Industry Not to Compromise on Safety amid Low Oil Price

David Doig, the chief executive of oil and gas skills and training body OPITO, has urged the industry not to cut corners on safety training and competence in the face of sub $50 oil prices.

In an organization statement released on OPITO’s website Tuesday, Doig warned operators against compromising on the safety of their workforces and stressed that skilled and safe staff are critical components to remain competitive in the oil and gas industry:  

“With operators looking for ways to cut costs in the current climate it is imperative that there are no compromises when it comes to ensuring the safety of the workforce. It is a challenging time but the economic conditions cannot be a reason to relax standards, not when the cost of making mistakes are too high in terms of loss of life or damage to the environment.

“Hazards and risk remain the same regardless of the oil price and a lower BOE must not mean that they are managed differently. It is the smart organizations who realise that in times of turbulence, a highly skilled, safe and motivated workforce is critical to remain competitive. Production operations will continue as will the need for maintenance. If we take a cynical view that maintenance activities will be reduced then the need to ensure the workforce is trained and competent becomes even greater.”

The latest warning follows an announcement by OPITO in July that there had been a 250 percent rise in the number of North Sea energy firms investing in systems which assess and develop workforce competence and safety. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s Annual Offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2014/2015, which was released Sept. 23, there have been fatalities in the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector every year since 2011/2012, with the exception of 2012/2013, and the number of injuries that lasted over seven days (O7D) has increased consecutively every year since 2012/2013, with 125 O7D injuries registered in the last year alone.

OPITO will be hosting the OSCC (OPITO Safety and Competence Conference), which is the only global event solely focused on safety and competence in oil and gas, in Abu Dhabi Nov. 3. The event will bring together governments, industry, regulators and training providers to share new thinking and best practice on improving safety and developing competence among the onshore and offshore oil and gas workforce. 

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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