UK Releases Offshore Health & Safety Statistics for 2003/04

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its full offshore health and safety statistics for 2003/04. The report contains provisional injury and incident figures for the year April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004, as well as finalized data for 2002/03. It also provides further details on the 'headline' figures that were posted in August 2004.

The figures show there were three fatal accidents during 2003/04 compared to none in 2002/03 and 48 'major' injury incidents, a decrease of 25 per cent on last year's figures. In addition, the statistics show a continued downward trend in the number of over-three-day injuries – with 102 incidents reported during 2003/04 compared to 120 in 2002/03. The combined fatal and major injury rate per 100,000 workers decreased to 271.4 in 2003/04 from 310.4 in 2002/03.

The Inland Revenue's annual population survey found the offshore workforce has decreased from 20,619 in 2002/03 to 18,793 in 2003/04. The table below shows the provisional injury numbers and rates per 100,000 workers (in brackets) for 2003/04 for the three reporting categories. Confirmed 2001/02 and 2002/03 data are included for easy comparison.

Category 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04p
Fatalities 3 (12.9) 0 (0) 3(16.0)
Major injuries 47 (202.5) 64 (310.4) 48(255.4)
Over-three-day injuries 187 (805.8) 120 (582.0) 102(542.8)

Meanwhile, the HSE report also reveals a reduction in the number of dangerous occurrences with 543 during 2003/04 compared to 635 in 2002/03. There were also 13 cases of work-related diseases reported during 2003/04, a decrease of six on the previous year.

Single copies of Offshore injury, ill health and incident statistics report 2003/04 (Provisional data) are available free by contacting HSE at (Tel) 44 151 951 3236. Alternatively, the report can be downloaded from HSE's website at:

This is the twelfth report in a series published by HSE's Offshore Division (OSD) since HSE became the safety regulator for the offshore oil and gas industry in April 1991. It is the eighth report produced since the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR '95) were introduced offshore.

The report contains graphs plotting injury rates since 1994/95 and tables breaking down injuries by type; part of body injured; age of injured person, etc, plus cases of ill health reported since 1997/98. Details of reported dangerous occurrences are also given.

Previously, pre-1996/97 statistics were not directly comparable with later figures, due to changes of definitions introduced by RIDDOR '95 – particularly the definitions of major injuries. However, a review of pre-96/97 data to reclassify injuries, in line with RIDDOR '95, means that all figures in the latest report can be compared.

The headline figures were previously published on August 9, 2004 in HSE's Offshore Safety Bulletin, which is available from the HSE website at:

Step Change in Safety is a network of employer and workforce representatives set up in 1997. Further information including latest activities and initiatives can be found at:

An over-three-day injury is one that is not major but results in the person being away from work or unable to do the full range of their normal duties for more than three days. A dangerous occurrence is something that does not result in a reportable injury, but which could have done.