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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
April 28, 2008

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Bill could strengthen HSE powers offshore

A Bill aimed at improving the health and safety of offshore oil and gas workers has been introduced in Parliament.

The Offshore Oil and Gas Industries (Health and Safety) Bill, which was presented by Labour MP Frank Doran in the Commons in April, would give the HSE stronger powers to intervene where there is evidence that common systems of work across the industry are necessary to improve safety. Doran claimed the permit-to-work system is at the root of “virtually every significant accident in the North-Sea oil and gas industry, including Piper Alpha”. He said the insistence by companies on holding on to their own individual permit-to-work system has created negative morale among workers, who have to become familiar with a different system on each platform.

The Bill would also give trade unions more influence and allow them to appoint safety representatives — as is currently the case in onshore workplaces. It is expected to be read a second time on 9 May.

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