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The Journal for Employee Protection
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Oil Workers Still Fear Raising Safety Issues

Workers in the oil and gas sector worry they will be blacklisting


OFFSHORE workers still fear reporting safety issues almost 30 years after Piper Alpha, according to the man who chaired the enquiry into the disaster.

Judge Lord Cullen said workers in the oil and gas sector worry they will be blacklisting if they take safety concerns to bosses.

The comments came as the industry launched a new guide aimed at preventing a repeat of the tragedy, which cost 167 lives in July 1988. Just 61 offshore workers survived the explosion and blaze on the platform off the north-east coast.

The new 10-volume guide, entitled Encompassing the Future: Offshore Oil and Gas Operations, brings together 40 years of knowledge gleaned from environmental, health and safety and performance management.

Cullen, who welcomed the guide, said “painful lessons” were learned from the “tragic events”. The inquiry he chaired into what went wrong in 1988 lasted 13 months and helped bring major changes in health and safety for offshore workers.

However, he said many still fear that flagging up concerns to managers will receive negative comeback, such as blacklisting.

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