Report Shines Light on Offshore Oil and Gas Health and Safety

Offshore oil and gas companies should expect continued scrutiny of their health and safety practices in 2024 despite a recent report suggesting that the industry has never been safer to work in, experts say.

man working on oil rig
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An overview of the offshore oil and gas sector’s health, safety, and environment performance for 2022, published last month by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), found that 2022 was the safest year to work in offshore oil and gas since records began.

According to the report, the total number of process-safety-related "dangerous occurrences" reported in 2022 fell 22% to the lowest level recorded. Employers are obliged to report certain dangerous occurrences under the 2013 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Hydrocarbon releases accounted for the most common form of dangerous occurrences in 2022, with 52 of the 77 releases reportable under RIDDOR. The OEUK’s director of HSE, Mark Wilson, described the number as “unacceptably high” and warned of their potential to lead to loss of life. Dropped objects, well-related incidents, and fires and explosions were among the other common dangerous occurrences reported in 2022, according to the data.

Certain personal safety incidents are also reportable under RIDDOR. These include specified injuries and fatalities and injuries that result in seven or more days off work. The OEUK said the data shows a “gradual creep upwards of accidents” in recent years, with 72 such incidents recorded in 2022.

“Bone fractures, strains/sprains, and lacerations continue to account for majority of accident outcomes, with hands and fingers being the most frequently injured parts of the body,” the report said.

The OEUK said, however, that the UK offshore oil and gas industry compares favorably with European neighbors according to the standardized lost-time injury frequency data published by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.

Read the full story here.

Find the OEUK report here.