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HSE publishes statistics for the offshore sector

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HSE has published its yearly report providing details of offshore accidents, dangerous occurrences and ill health reported for the past year, 2016.


In 2016, 78 over-seven-day injuries were reported to HSE, compared with 80 in 2015.

There was one fatality last year. There have been six in the past ten year period; two in 2014, one in 2012 and two in 2011/12. Previous to 2011/12 there had been no fatalities since 2006/7.

There were 20 ‘specified injuries’ - ie major injuries - compared with 36 in 2015. But the report, published on 27 June, says this cannot reliably be compared due to recent legislative changes.

There were 77 incidents of ill health reported over the period 2012 to 2016, of these: musculoskeletal conditions, such as hand-arm vibration syndrome, had the highest number of reports (31), followed by viral and bacterial conditions, such as chickenpox (29), and skin conditions, such as reports of occupational dermatitis.

The lack of significant change does something to allay fears that safety standards had weakened in the face of recently tumbling oil prices.

In Unite’s survey of 779 offshore workers published in December 2016, nearly 60 per cent of those questioned said health and safety standards had dropped in the last six months. It also found that some 38.5 per cent said they had been placed in a position where they have been unable to report an incident for fear of victimisation.

In common with other sectors, however, the offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2016 reveals a drop in inspections.

In 2016 HSE Energy Division – Offshore (ED Offshore) undertook 132 planned offshore inspections at 101 offshore installations. It compares with 138 inspections in 2015 and 196 inspections in 2012 – a drop of a third in inspections compared with four years ago.

Recent strategy to target high hazard and poor performing installations has resulted in ‘lower numbers of more in-depth and targeted inspections’, it says.

Read the report here 

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