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The health and safety of those working in the offshore energy industry is a priority for industry body Oil & Gas UK.

Writing for Energy Voice recently, health and safety manager at the organisation Trevor Stapleton stressed that improvements in health and safety figures recorded in 2017 don’t mean that the sector will become complacent.

There were 255 reportable incidents in the offshore oil and gas sector last year, which is the lowest on record and 70 per cent lower than the number of reportable incidents recorded in 2000-01.

Hydrocarbon releases are one of the areas the regulator wants to focus on because “we are all too aware of the personal and long-lasting consequences if things go wrong”.

Although technology and improved processes can play a part, it’s the people who work in these environments who are the most important. Mr Stapleton commented: “Having people with the right skills, experience and knowledge to do their job properly and safely is a key element in making sure the worst doesn’t happen.”

Of course, people still need to be trained to deal with incidents, especially in offshore environments where external help is unlikely to be readily available. That could including running regular breathing apparatus training in the UK, as well as ensuring that people’s first aid qualifications are up to date.

Last month, Offshore Support Journal pointed out that it is often small steps that make a difference when it comes to fire safety in this environment.

It pointed out that managing and minimising human risk factors is just as important as adopting new technology to help lower the risk of fires, which can have serious consequences in this industry.