UK HSE Statement on Brent Bravo Inquiry

The determination in a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths of two workers on the Brent Bravo offshore installation in September 2003 has been published July 18, 2006. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) extends its condolences to the families and loved ones of Sean McCue and Keith Moncrieff. HSE's own findings have been born out in the determination and confirm the importance of our continued emphasis on plant integrity issues in the offshore industry.

HSE fully co-operated with the Inquiry and provided 11 witnesses who gave key evidence to help establish the circumstances of the two men's deaths and the management failings that led to them.

Inspectors from HSE's Offshore Division had already carried out a full and thorough investigation into the incident, which culminated in the prosecution of Shell UK Limited last year – resulting in a fine of £900,000.

Ian Whewell, Head of HSE's Offshore Division said:

"The Sheriff's determination endorses the importance of the findings from HSE's investigation into the double fatality on Brent Bravo. There has been a significant record of improvement in the management of offshore health and safety since a new legal regime was introduced after the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster. However, there is no room for complacency, as these two tragic fatalities illustrate.

"HSE believes the industry can, and should, do better. The industry agrees and has set itself a target of making the UK Continental Shelf the safest offshore sector in the world by 2010. HSE is working with the industry, with support from trades unions, to help make this happen.

"Health and safety law provides a comprehensive framework to regulate offshore risks. Its primary requirement is that those who create these risks are responsible for managing them. This means ensuring potential dangers are identified and systems of work put into place to reduce dangers to the lowest practicable level. HSE enforces the law robustly and will continue to do so against any company that fails to manage and control the risks it creates.

"Our sympathies remain with the families of Sean McCue and Keith Moncrieff."