When an explosion and fire at a fuel storage facility in northern Texas injured three people earlier this year, thankfully, all personnel at the site were accounted for.1 But sadly, cases like this are not isolated incidents. Some common themes from 2022 include gas leaks, oil spills, and various offshore workers' injuries, including fatalities.2
In October 2022, a worker died after falling off a rig and into the water at a Kiewit Offshore Services' yard near Corpus Christi, Texas.3 Six months earlier, a worker reportedly died while scrapping a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. According to local sources, a nitrogen tank removed from the vessel violently exploded and killed the worker.4
The industry has since taken action to minimise the risks of accidents on offshore installations and improve the safety of offshore oil and gas infrastructure. However, incidents still occur for various reasons.
Contractors have a right to work where risks to their health and safety are adequately controlled. Health and safety is about preventing injuries and illnesses at work.It's the responsibility of the operator or owner of an offshore installation to ensure everyone understands the part they need to play. However, contractors also have responsibilities too.5
Reducing exposure, mitigating risk
Offshore health and safety law
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for regulating the risks to health and safety arising from work activities in the offshore industry on the UK continental shelf. To do this, along with general health and safety law, HSE uses main legislation to regulate the oil and gas industry.6
Employers of offshore operators must:7
- Co-operate with the operator/owner of the installation, other employers and other people to ensure the health and safety of those on board the installation and others working in connection with it.
- Assess risks and implement control measures.
- Provide contractors with relevant health and safety training free of charge. If it’s necessary to arrange training outside your normal hours, this should be treated as an extension of time at work.
- Provide insurance that covers contractors in case they are hurt at work or become ill through work.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA): Health and safety loss control
RoSPA is a member organisation that provides services and support to create safer and healthier workplaces.7
Demonstrating that staff have been adequately trained protects your people. It can help you avoid the risks of legal action and fines.
RoSPA's accredited online compliance training programme will help develop and strengthen health and safety across your business.8
Comprehensive - Modules include an extensive library of crucial danger topics, including: stress, managing contractors, manual handling, and work at height. It also identifies and addresses industry-specific areas.
Convenient - Web-based so staff can complete it individually at a convenient time and place.
Compliant – The system identifies the additional training needs of particular contractors.It then helps your company to raise knowledge levels while demonstrating a high standard of compliance to your customers and regulators.
Marsh Commercial is an oil, gas and energy insurance and risk specialist. We have over 40 years of sector experience and, together with Marsh, manage more than $3bn of insurance premiums in energy markets annually.
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