The role offshore workers have to play in keeping themselves and their colleagues safe was discussed during a meeting facilitated by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Lord Cullen of Whitekirk KT, the retired judge who led the inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster, met with Bob Egan, the recently-appointed head of Workforce Engagement in the HSE’s Energy Division.
They were joined by Ian Waldram, a member of IOSH’s Offshore Group Committee, and discussed the importance of the HSE’s worker engagement strategy within the industry.
IOSH arranged the meeting, held on Wednesday 12 August at the HSE’s offices in Lord Cullen House, Aberdeen, to examine the best ways of developing the initiative.
Cullen oversaw the 13-month inquiry into the Piper Alpha explosion in July 1988, which killed 167 offshore workers. His report led to major health and safety changes within the industry, including defined roles for health and safety committees and elected safety representatives.
He said he was pleased to meet with Egan and hear about how he is leading the HSE’s strategy in the offshore sector.
“He comes with a very impressive record and will be a valuable addition for the HSE in increasing workforce engagement,” said Cullen.
Cullen emphasized the vital importance of members of the workforce being engaged in safety. They must be “error-aware” in their work, and management must be active in using workforce knowledge and experience to improve health and safety practices.
Egan is on a two-year secondment from global oilfield services company Petrofac and has been personally involved in offshore health and safety over a 23-year career, including six years as a safety representative on two different installations.
He is tasked with ensuring offshore employers consistently engage their workforce on health and safety issues and also how they raise the understanding of safety representatives about major hazard risks and controls. He will carry a warrant and accompany inspectors on site visits, on and offshore. He will also support investigations and seek relevant information about worker engagement.
Image: Lord Cullen, Bob Egan/IOSH