Safety of UK helicopter ops in North Sea comparable to those in Norway?

The Transport Select Committee published its report on offshore helicopter safety in July. Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Malcolm Webb responded in a letter to the Committee report at the time. Yesterday (October 27), the Government published its response to the Transport Select Committee Report alongside comments from Malcolm Webb’s letter.

Oil & Gas UK’s Robert Paterson, director of health, safety and employment issues at Oil & Gas UK, has commented on Government’s response.

Patterson said: “The Transport Select Committee report, published in July, made reference to unsubstantiated allegations concerning improper commercial pressure affecting safety. We are encouraged that neither the Civil Aviation Authority, the Government nor the industry found evidence of commercial pressures adversely impacting on safety. This is an important reassurance for our workforce.

“We note that the Government and Air Accidents Investigation Branch agree that clear communications with bereaved families and survivors on the progress of an investigation through to its conclusion are important, and we agree entirely.

“We further welcome Government’s recognition of the fact that the safety of UK helicopter operations in the North Sea is comparable to those conducted in other states, in particular Norway.

“Oil & Gas UK would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that if anyone does have evidence of failure to follow good safety practices, we urge them to report their concerns immediately through the various channels open to them, which includes their safety representatives and trade unions.

“Everyone has a right to get to and from their workplace safely and we will continue to strive to make our transport activities safer. We all have a critical role – the Civil Aviation Authority, government, trade unions, oil and gas companies, helicopter operators and the workforce – to ensure safety remains of paramount importance.”

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