UK Report Shows No Improvement in Offshore Injuries

The U.K. Health & Safety Executive has released its safety report for the 2001-02 period. Figures from the report show that the number of incidences of major and fatal injuries for the UK offshore oil industry increased despite increased preventative measures.

Between April 1, 2001 and March 31, 2002 there were three deaths, 55 major injuries and 230 minor injuries on offshore operations in the U.K. sector of the North Sea. By comparison, during the prior survey period there were three deaths, 53 major injuries and 233 minor injuries. "I am concerned that the combined number of major and fatal injuries has increased in the last year. The downward trend of the other incident statistics is encouraging, but, and this is recognized by the industry, there is still much to do." said Taf Powell, head of the HSE's offshore division. Powell said the HSE had joined an industry-led safety program, called Step Change, "to construct a blueprint for delivering big improvements across the board." The HSE said the three deaths in the most recent reporting period occurred on mobile drilling units, two involving equipment handling and lifting and the other a fall from a height. All seven deaths since 1999 have involved drilling contractor personnel.