Just a few short months ago government appointee Lord Young was proclaiming that much of UK health & safety legislation is ‘just plain silly’.Today, Steve Walker, head of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) offshore division, has bluntly told companies that their health and safety record covering 27,000 workers is “simply not good enough.” He said: “The industry has shown it can do better and it must do in future.” Figures released on Tuesday by the HSE show that while there were no fatalities in the offshore operations it regulates for the third year in a row last year, the number of major injury cases rose from 30 in 2008-09 to 50. The deaths of 16 in a helicopter crash and a fatality involving a diving support vessel are not covered by the HSE figures but the report says the combined fatal and major injury rate almost doubled to 192 per 100,000 workers compared with 106 in 2008-09. Mr Walker also expresses concern at the increase from 61 to 85 in the number of incidents involving a major and significant escape of oil and gas that could have led to a major incident. In the wake of the recent BP Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, it will be interesting to hear Lord Young’s pronouncemnts on UK health & safety legislation when his review is complete. Let’s hope meantime that the oil and gas industry pays attention to the HSE’s concerns for worker safety on the rigs. Bonnar & Company specialises in industrial accident and injury claims and has a particular expertise in dealing with claims brought by workers in dangerous occupations. If you or a member of your family needs to discuss a potential claim please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation discussion.
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