Middle East safety standards not good enough

Call for improvement despite upturn over last five years

Safety standards have improved in the last five years.
Safety standards have improved in the last five years.

Global safety standards body, OPITO, says safety in the oil and gas industry is still not good enough despite a five year improvement in the Middle East.

At its fifth annual safety and competence conference (OSCC 2014) in Abu Dhabi, OPITO called for more effective leadership to prevent fatal accidents, lost time incidents and near-misses.

David Doig, group chief executive of OPITO, said: “The latest figures from the association of oil and gas producers (OGP) reveal that there were 88 fatalities in the industry across the world in 2012 with LTIs (lost-time incidents) increasing by 12%.

“This is simply not good enough. There are a number of common causal factors, one of which is inadequate standards.

“This need not be the case if OPITO standards, recognised as the best in the world, were adopted by every employer in every oil and gas region in the world.”

However, he pointed to a five year rolling average in the Middle East which shows a marked improvement in the reduction of accidents between 2007 and 2012.

“OPITO has been active in the Middle-east since 2005. Our standards are being rolled out by the major employers and we are working closely with industry and regional governments to develop a safer workforce through positive changes in behaviour through our standards’ framework.

“I am not suggesting that this five year rolling improvement in the region is all down to OPITO but I do believe there is a correlation between the increase in uptake of our training standards and the decrease in fatal and other accidents.”


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Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2020

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