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March 5, 2008

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Revised guidance helps offshore workers play their part

Ian Whewell chair of OIAC and head of HSE’s Offshore Division welcomed the revised publication, saying: “I believe that the effective involvement of the workforce is essential if the UK Offshore Industry is to deliver the improvements in performance necessary for it to meet its target to be the safest in the world by 2010. This is a considerable challenge for the industry and companies must ensure that their safety culture encourages involvement and rewards safety.

The guidance ‘Play Your Part! How offshore workers can help improve health and safety’, which was first published in 1996, is aimed at operators, contractors, trade unions, safety representatives and individual employees. It is intended to help them cooperate to improve health and safety offshore by the active participation of the workforce. In particular, it offers advice and guidance on implementing management systems that encourage a culture that values constructive engagement with its workforce with the result that everyday safety is improved.

Focussing on four key principles of control; competence; cooperation and communication, the guide also highlights the importance of participation of all employees in effectively managing major hazard risks. In addition, it features a number of case studies that illustrate the benefits that a positive approach to worker involvement can bring as well as what can go wrong when one is not put in place effectively.

As part of an on-going initiative to drive up worker involvement a one-day seminar has been organised by WIG to provide a forum for over 100 representatives from the entire spectrum of the offshore workforce. The aims of the event are to: engage and encourage greater workforce involvement; promote awareness of major hazard potential; and raise awareness of barriers to major hazards. In addition, participants at the forum being held in Edinburgh on 8 May 2008 will share experiences of good practice and explore ways in which to raise workplace health and safety standards further.

Supporting the publication of the guidance, Bill Murray, Chief Executive of the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), said: “OCA welcomes and supports this initiative. Play Your Part identifies the important role that the workforce in particular plays in keeping our people and places of work safe. There are multiple means of becoming involved, but the most import message is that no one should feel constrained in any way from reporting unsafe acts and conditions.”

Commenting on the guide, Jake Molloy, General Secretary of the Oil Industry Liaison Committee (OILC), said: “The revised Play Your Part publication is excellent and is a timely reminder to everyone in the industry that offshore workers have a right to be involved and are indeed obliged to get involved in day to day matters affecting their health and safety.”

Single copies of Play your part! How offshore workers can help improve health and safety, ISBN 9780717662869, are available free from:

HSE Books,

PO Box 1999,



CO10 2WA,

tel: 01787-881165

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