The Offshore Safety Awards, organized by Step Change in Safety and Oil & Gas UK, have been postponed due to the fatal Super Puma helicopter crash in Norway a week ago.
Oil & Gas UK, representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, announced on Thursday that the decision was made by the organizers so both companies can work closely on supporting the industry following the helicopter crash in Norway on Friday, April 29.
The CHC-operated helicopter crashed at Turøy, off Bergen, Norway, last Friday with thirteen people in the aircraft. They were en route from Statoil’s Gullfaks B field to Bergen. All the crew and the passengers were confirmed dead.
The safety awards originally scheduled for May 31, have been rescheduled and will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on August 17, 2016. Since the deadline for nominations passed on Monday, May 2, the organizers stated that all submissions to date will be held and used in the forthcoming Offshore Safety Awards.
Les Linklater, Executive Director of Step Change in Safety, said: “The thoughts and condolences from Step Change in Safety and Oil & Gas UK go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those lost. While it remains vitally important to continue to celebrate the good work of everyone involved in delivering safety excellence, we have taken the decision to postpone the Offshore Safety Awards until later in the year.”
Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director of Oil & Gas UK, added: “We feel that our immediate priority is to continue to follow the events as they develop in Norway and ensure that the industry remains resolute in its commitment to safe flight operations.”
The annual event is the successor to the UK Oil and Gas Industry Safety Awards. That the awards will be handed out six categories: Safety Leadership, Safety Representative of the Year, Innovation in Safety, Workforce Engagement, Occupational Health and Sharing and Learning. The Offshore Safety Awards “celebrate the people and companies striving to help make the UK Continental Shelf one of the safest places to work in this industry globally”.
Following the Airbus helicopter crash, UK and Norwegian aviation authorities imposed a ban on all EC225 helicopter flights, except for those used on search and rescue missions.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) on Tuesday, following the tragic accident saying that partial information available to the EASA indicate an in-flight separation of the main rotor from the main gearbox (MGB). The agency said the investigation to identify the root cause of the accident is still on-going. The EASA requires certain inspections before next flights on the EC 225 helicopter fleet as a precautionary measure and requests reports on any discrepancies to both EASA and Airbus Helicopters per instructions in their AD.
Since the accident, thousands have petitioned for the entire EC 225 helicopter fleet to be put out of commission.
Offshore Energy Today Staff