Piper Alpha disaster: Anniversary film announced

The Piper Alpha oil rig disaster killed 167 people. Picture: PA
The Piper Alpha oil rig disaster killed 167 people. Picture: PA
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A SPECIAL film, highlighting the lessons learned from the Piper Alpha disaster, is to be screened on every oil installation in British waters as part of a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst offshore catastrophe, it was announced today.

• Special film commemorating 25th anniversary of Piper Alpha disaster to be shown in every opil installation in British waters

Piper Alpha: 167 workers died. Picture: contributed

Piper Alpha: 167 workers died. Picture: contributed

• 167 workers were killed on 6 July, 1988 in offshore tragedy

The unprecedented simultaneous screening of the film is being staged as part of a “workforce involvement day” to mark the tragedy in which 167 oilmen were killed on 6 July, 1988.

A spokesman for Oil and Gas UK, the pan industry trade body, said: “The UK offshore workforce will pause for a moment of reflection to remember the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster as part of a special event designed to engage the workforce in safety matters.

“The Workforce Involvement Day, sponsored by Apache, will be jointly organised by Step Change in Safety and the Health and Safety Executive and will be run as a parallel event alongside the Piper 25 conference at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 19 June.”

He continued: “Central to this ‘fringe’ event, which is free to attend, will be the screening of a 25-minute film which it is hoped will be simultaneously shown to workers on every offshore installation in the UK Continental Shelf – the first time this has been done before.

“The film is designed to remind people of the underlying reasons why Piper Alpha happened and to challenge them to think about how these might apply to their own work. The film will be shown to around 500 people at the event and potentially many thousands more offshore.”

Les Linklater, the Step Change in Safety team leader, said: “The Workforce Involvement Day is being run alongside the Piper 25 conference and is being driven by the workforce, for the workforce.

“The legacy of Piper Alpha affects every offshore worker even today. By screening this short film to potentially the entire offshore workforce, we are attempting to reach a very wide audience in a way that has never been done before.”

He added: “The purpose of doing this is to remind people that Piper Alpha isn’t just history and we still have to guard against complacency. The same hazards and the same challenges that existed back then still exist now and how we manage them – through strong leadership and through engaging the workforce in safety – is crucial in preventing a repeat of that tragedy.

“We want as many of the workforce as possible to come along to this event and play their part on the day.”