Lawyers who represented victims of the Piper Alpha disaster, Thompsons Solicitors, have voiced their concern after a series of serious incidents on Scotland’s rigs in recent months.
Reports yesterday (Tuesday 24 April 2012) reveal that the North Sea Buzzard oil field, which pumps about 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day, has been closed for two days and could be out of action for a further 48 hours after a fire broke out on a platform.
The incident comes just weeks after a rig called “the Elgin” was evacuated after an uncontrolled gas leak.
The leading Scottish personal injury law firm and health and safety campaigners are calling for tougher measures to boost safety at work, including:
- An anonymous whistle-blower’s help line.
- Giving workers and their representatives the statutory power to go to Court and obtain their own direct enforcement remedies such as interdict or injunction (stopping an employer from undertaking certain activities that are dangerous) or specific implement (directing an employer to take certain steps).
Syd Smith is senior partner at Thompsons Solicitors and lawyer involved in representing the Piper Alpha victims. He said the incidents raised serious concerns over rig safety:
“These two recent incidents are of great concern. While it is reassuring that staff are being evacuated in time, the fact is these leaks shouldn’t be happening in the first place.
“Working on the oil and gas platforms out in the North Sea clearly remains dangerous and employers must do all they can to improve measures to protect workers.
“We cannot afford to have another Piper Alpha tragedy. Every effort must be made to prevent anything like it happening again.”
Speaking of the need for tougher health and safety measures in the workplace Smith added:
“Health and safety laws need to put the power squarely in the hands of workers; they know best when it comes to improvements that should be made.
“These measures will empower workers and help create a proper safety culture in the workplace.
“At Thompsons we see first hand the devastating effects workplace accidents and fatalities have on people’s lives. The compensation we win gives victims valuable support, but accidents and fatalities should be avoided with better safety measures.”
If you have been in an accident at work or elsewhere the multi-award-winning solicitors at Thompsons can help you make a no win no fee claim for compensation. Call us on 0800 0891 331 for advice or to make a no win no fee claim.