Piper 25 offshore safety conference to mark anniversary of disaster
A MAJOR offshore safety conference is to be held next summer to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.
• Conference in June 2013 to mark 25th anniversary of Piper Alpha disaster
• 167 killed in oil platform disaster in July 1988
• Piper 25 to discuss safety issues in the industry
Plans for the three-day conference to mark the world’s worst offshore disaster, in which 167 men were killed, have been announced by Oil and Gas UK, the pan-industry trade body.
The main speakers will include Lord Cullen, whose landmark inquiry into the disaster heralded a new era in the offshore safety regime, and Judith Hackett, chair of the Health and Safety Executive.
A total of 165 oilmen working on the Piper platform and two rescuers were killed on 6 July, 1988, when a series of fires and explosions blew apart the North Sea installation. Lord Cullen’s groundbreaking report into the catastrophe swept aside the old prescriptive regime which had governed the industry and transformed offshore safety.
A spokesman for Oil and Gas UK said: “Piper 25 will be a three-day event held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 18 to 20 June.
“It is aimed at bringing together people from across the industry to reflect on the lessons learnt from the tragedy, review how far offshore safety has evolved since and to reinforce commitment to improvement.
“With Piper Alpha as a central theme, the conference will also explore broader safety issues and will feature high-profile international speakers from a diverse range of backgrounds. In addition, a series of technical presentations will be run in parallel – each focusing on a different theme.
“Lord Cullen’s report made 106 recommendations which have since transformed the way safety is managed offshore – to the point where the UK regime is now regarded as a global exemplar.”
Robert Paterson, Oil & Gas UK’s health and safety director, said: “Piper Alpha claimed the lives of 167 men and remains the world’s worst offshore disaster. Its magnitude and the impact it has had on the oil and gas industry cannot be overstated. Piper Alpha was transformational.
“Oil & Gas UK has decided to mark the 25th anniversary with an event which will draw on the experiences of people with direct knowledge of Piper Alpha, as well as those with a wider offshore safety background from the UK and abroad.
“Therefore, Piper 25 will be open to anyone – whether they have a direct interest in Piper Alpha itself or in offshore safety more generally. It promises to serve as a reminder of what can happen when things go wrong and to galvanise the industry’s resolve to continuously improve offshore safety to ensure what happened is never repeated.”
Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, said: “Despite the Cullen report, there is still a way to go in some areas – and we would like to see greater workforce involvement and empowerment improved significantly.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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