THE HEALTH and Safety Executive has served an improvement notice on BP for the company to assess the risk of its non-safety critical maintenance backlog.
The oil giant stressed the notice related to non-safety critical maintenance, adding that safety was its number one priority.
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But the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said it was concerned that news of the HSE move had emerged following BP’s announcement of hundreds of job losses in the wake of the plunge in oil prices.
General secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT’s concerns about the axing of staff when there is already a backlog of essential works throughout the energy industry are thrown centre stage in this enforcement notice.
“BP are actually amongst the best performers in terms of maintenance backlogs, so the fact the HSE felt this necessary is a shocking reflection on the current state of the industry.
“How can we possibly expect to maintain the infrastructure, sustain production and keep workers safe while the slash and burn approach is being used by other operators such as Marathon who are amongst the worst performers?”
A spokesperson for the HSE said maintenance was an issue across the industry, adding: “HSE will not be diluting standards in the downturn. There is a strong link between production efficiency and safety and HSE intends to ensure operators maintain safety standards regardless of financial considerations.”
A BP spokesperson said: “We prioritise and execute safety-critical maintenance on all of our assets and are committed to continuing to do that. Safety is our number one priority - it is our license to operate - and is at the heart of everything that we do.”
BP said the 300 job losses announced yesterday involved onshore support roles and did not impact offshore operations.
The improvement notice was served in November.
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