Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lessons Of Piper Alpha

read full article: The Herald, UK
Memorial services yesterday for the 167 men who died in the fireball which engulfed the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea marked the 20th anniversary of the world's worst offshore disaster. With one voice, however, the bereaved families and the 61 survivors say that the memorial they want is for safety to be prioritised so that there is minimal chance of such a tragedy ever occurring again.

Since the disastrous day of July 6, 1988, there have been important changes to the safety regime as a result of recommendations from Lord Cullen's inquiry. They include transferring the responsibility for offshore safety to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), encouraging greater workforce involvement and changes to the design of offshore platforms. However, a report by the HSE last November warned of serious (and illegal) shortcomings on safety, including mechanical ones such as the failure of the fire-fighting deluge water systems.

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