This morning (9 October 2012) the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament voted in favour of a Directive on Offshore Health and Safety. This vote saw the Committee give support to the amendments introduced on 19 September 2012, which would transform the European Commission’s proposals for offshore safety from a Regulation to a Directive.

A Regulation on offshore health and safety would have created a centralised European safety regime which would form part of domestic law in all EU member states. This has been strongly opposed in the UK by industry representatives and the Scottish and national governments. By comparison, a Directive would allow member states much more flexibility in implementation and would likely have little impact upon UK safety regulations, which are already considered to be of some of the strongest across the EU. The effect of a Directive would target countries where the standard is not currently fit-for-purpose and bring them into line with the current practices in the North Sea. 

The vote has been welcomed by Oil & Gas UK. Malcolm Webb, Oil & Gas UK’s Chief Executive stated that the result was “very encouraging”.

To view our previous article on the introduction of this amendment, please click here.