Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
June 1, 2023

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

New mental health charter to benefit energy industry workers after almost half admitted to suicidal thoughts

 A new mental health charter is being developed to benefit North Sea workers in the energy industry.

Nearly 200 representatives of leading organisations in the industry have joined together to develop the charter after research found 40% of onshore and offshore workers experienced suicidal thoughts some or all of the time while on duty.

The charter, which is being driven by the North Sea Chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), will be shared with stakeholders – including psychologists – before being issued in the coming weeks.

Darren Sutherland, Chair of the IADC North Sea Chapter, believes there is a desire for meaningful and lasting change and hopes companies will show their support and sign the charter.

He said: “The response has been phenomenal and to have so many stakeholders determined to play a part in improving the mental health support available to energy workers, both offshore and onshore, is heartening.

“Despite past efforts, the needle on mental health improvement does not seem to be moving in the right direction, let alone at pace.
“Tools have been created to better support mental health previously, but these have largely been activated through sign posting tactics and have failed to address the necessary cultural change required.

“The current generation of oil and gas workers will be remembered for being at the head of the energy transition – but that transition must include improving how we care for each other. And it must start today.”

The charter includes contributions from operators, contractors, psychologists and third sector organisations.
It aims to provide a framework to improve the mental health and safety of workers across the industry, detailing explicit actions, processes and improvements for all charter signatories to follow.

Darren added: “The work we are doing is about coming together as human beings to allow us to do business better by creating improved working environments for our people, not at the expense of them.

“This is not a box-ticking exercise. I would encourage as many organisations as possible to not only sign up to the charter, but to embrace it. We have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of those we work and live beside, and it is an opportunity we cannot let pass by.

 “Hopefully by Mental Health Awareness Week next year, we will have the majority of North Sea companies, not only signed up to the charter, but abiding by its objectives.”

Further reading: ‘I died twice’ – the story of a North Sea oil rig accident

Further listening: SHP PODCAST: The irreversible impact: mental health and accidents at work

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments