Offshore Safety Awards recognize North Sea safety leaders

Winners of the Offshore Safety Awards; Image source: Step Change in Safety Twitter Page

Oil & Gas UK, in association with Step Change in Safety and Maersk Oil, has handed out six awards during this year’s Offshore Safety Awards held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to people and companies making a positive difference to North Sea’s safety.

The Offshore Safety Awards took place on Wednesday with a total of 18 companies and individuals shortlisted as finalists in six categories.

The organization representing offshore oil and gas industry in the UK said that almost 300 people, which included representatives from across industry, MPs, and MSPs and other stakeholders, attended the event. The audience at Wednesday’s event then voted via SMS for who they thought should win after watching the finalists present their work and seeing video ‘selfies’ that they had also made.

Awards were given in six categories: Award for Safety Leadership, Award for Safety Representative of the Year, Award for Innovation in Safety, Award for Workforce Engagement, Award for Occupational Health, and Award for Sharing and Learning.

The Award for Safety Leadership, sponsored by Nexen Petroleum, is given to an inspirational leader who motivates and engages their team to work safely and was awarded to EnQuest Operations Manager Derek Ellington whose leadership has transformed the culture on one of the North Sea’s mature assets. Under his guidance, the Heather platform is now seen by peers as a motivational success story.

The Award for Safety Representative of the Year – sponsored by Wood Group and for an enthusiastic and committed safety rep who is driving the safety agenda at a worksite went to Dave Thomson, who was nominated by CAN Group for his firm belief in the importance of protecting all his colleagues who work around him.

Baker Hughes was awarded the Award for Innovation in Safety, sponsored by Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, given to a company which has put in place a process or technique to improve safety either across an organization or at an individual worksite. The company had the best HSE performance in the company’s history with a full year without recordable incidents achieved with a novel approach leveraging gamification principles for enhancing HSE engagement.

TAQA’s Allan Smillie was given the Award for Workforce Engagement, sponsored by Halliburton, which recognizes the active embracement of worker engagement on safety matters. Smillie reinvigorated the company’s network of Safety Representatives from largely inactive with no central hub of support, into an energized, motivated and actively supported group.

Fluor’s company, Stork, was awarded the Award for Occupational Health, sponsored by Aker Solutions, which recognizes an individual/team or company who has taken steps to actively improve the health of its workforce, with clearly demonstrable positive effects. The company was acknowledged due to its continued commitment and investment in managing and supporting its workforce with the provision of an in-house occupational health service.

HeliOffshore, a group working to further enhance the safety of offshore helicopter transportation has won the Award for Sharing and Learning, sponsored by Centrica. The award recognizes an individual, team or company that can demonstrate a learning and sharing culture either within the organization, or who has made a significant contribution to health and safety through active participation in, or engagement with Oil & Gas UK or Step Change in Safety. Russell Gould from Bristow Group and Malcolm Garrington from CHC Helicopter lead HeliOffshore’s the Health & Usage Monitoring System or HUMS Support workgroup. HUMS are sensor-based systems that measure the health and performance of mission-critical components in aircraft.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director, Oil & Gas UK, said: “The six who emerged triumphant from their category are exceptionally worthy winners carrying out excellent work to further improve North Sea safety. However, all of the finalists in our Offshore Safety Awards are taking steps to make our industry the safest it can be, and all are to be applauded. I hope the many who attended our event today left feeling inspired and armed with fresh ideas to take back to their own workplace to help keep safety at the top of the agenda.”

Les Linklater, Executive Director of Oil & Gas UK, added: “All our finalists and winners are to be congratulated for playing their part to ensure that we continue to make improvements in our safety performance as an industry. The format of today’s event was designed to facilitate sharing and learning, and I am encouraged to hear from the event attendees that each and every one of them has taken something back to their respective organizations that can help them play their part in making us the safest oil and gas sector in the world.”

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