Oil & Gas UK have welcomed the publication of the HSE Safety Statistics Bulletin 2011/12, the results of which largely mirror the industry association’s own fi ndings published in July.

The HSE Bulletin noted that the number of major hydrocarbon releases (HCRs) – regarded as a signifi cant pre-curser to safety incidents – fell from 73 to 52 for the year 2011/12. The number minor HCRs also fell from 93 to 75. The fi gures for HCRs are now at the lowest level for the last 10 years.

Health and Safety Director for Oil & Gas UK, Robert Paterson, said ‘We have seen a continuing fall in the number of hydrocarbon releases to a new low and this is the result of a concerted effort across the industry. While there is a target in place to reduce the number by 50% by the end of March 2013, ultimately we must continue to strive towards zero.’

It is clear, however, that there must not be complacency as a result of largely positive improvement. The Bulletin also highlights the fi rst two fatalities to occur in the industry since 2006/07. Head of HSE Offshore Safety, Steve Walker, noted that ‘[the deaths] are a tragic reminder that this is a high-risk industry and safety must remain a priority.’

Overall, the fatal and major injury rate fell from 152 to 131 per 100,000 workers. The over-3-day injury rate also recorded a 14.7% fall on the previous year and is at a new low.

The results can be reviewed at www.hse.gov.uk/offshore/statistics/stat1112.pdf