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Syd Smith, Senior PartnerScotland’s leading personal injury firm, which represented the Piper Alpha victims, Thompsons Solicitors, has called on oil companies to take health and safety on oil platforms seriously and make greater efforts to keep rigs safe.  They have also called for both UK and Scottish Governments to encourage a safety culture by promoting measures such as whistle-blowing. 

The calls come following reports that the Health and Safety Executive had to shut down Talisman’s Claymore platform following five serious leaks between May and June.  The HSE identified a number of problems including engineering, management and procedural failings in preventing leaks of flammable material. 

Thompsons Solicitors represented the Piper Alpha victims following the devastating explosion in 1988 which killed 167 men.

The comments also follow reports that oil firm Total have also been ordered to make improvements to health and safety after two men were injured when a steel pump fell from a trolley on the Alwyn North platform.  

Senior Partner at the Firm, Syd Smith, who acted for the Piper Alpha victims and their families, said:

“Piper Alpha was a horrific event that could have been avoided.  It must never be allowed to happen again.

“It is encouraging that the Health and Safety Executive is rooting out companies that fail to meet health and safety standards, but these reports clearly highlight the need for oil companies to take oil rig health and safety seriously and make greater efforts to keep workers safe.

“To get lasting improvements we need to promote a safety culture and encourage workers to be extra eyes and ears in the workplace.  Workers might feel reluctant to be whistle-blowers, but highlighting health and safety breaches in this way saves lives.   

“Health and Safety measures are not an optional extra, they are vital to prevent the devastating loss of life and injuries that tragically occur too often on our rigs. 

“It is both concerning and unacceptable that this still happens on our rigs.”

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