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Health and safety in offshore construction improving

Recent figures show the offshore industry is getting safer, with the number of fatal and major injuries and hydrocarbon releases at their lowest rate on record.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), during 2008/09 no workers were killed while working offshore during the period and there was a fall in major injuries, with 30 reported, compared with 44 in 2007/08.

The combined fatal and major injury rate also reduced to 106 per 100,000 workers in 2008/09 compared with 156 in 2007/08 and 146 in 2006/07.

Meanwhile, the number of major and significant hydrocarbon releases, regarded as potential precursors to an incident, showed marked improvement with 61 in 2008/09 compared with 74 in 2007/08.

Chair of the Health and Safety Executive Judith Hackitt said: “The improvements in major and fatal accident rates are encouraging but industry must not take its eye of the ball. Investment in safety must continue despite the current economic climate putting a squeeze on resources.

“However, the good news was of course overshadowed by the tragic events of 1 April when the Super Puma helicopter crashed with the loss of 16 passengers.

“Even though the HSE’s remit does not extend to air and marine transport activities, these incidents show that hazards are ever present offshore. The loss of 17 offshore workers this year is a tragedy and stark reminder to us all.”


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