Offshore Energies Magazine - Issue 55 Spring 2023


OEUK's HSE conference: Leading & Learning

OEUK CEO David Whitehouse and HSE & Operations Director Mark Wilson, TotalEnergies HSE Director Mhairi Finnie and Xodus’ Strategic Director Peter Tipler launched the OEUK Health & Safety Conference in late March. With all tickets sold, the Aberdeen event drew over 300 industry personnel as well as representatives from the regulatory and safety agencies. The conference theme was Leading & Learning, with Mr Whitehouse acknowledging the challenges the industry faces while reiterating the commitment to delivering a harm free UKCS. In doing so he pointed to the sustained trend of prioritising and improving safety performance: • Emissions from the production of oil and gas were down 20%: we are on track to meet the NSTD 2027 target. • There were no work-related fatalities and offshore helicopter operations were accident-free. • Continuing safety measures still yield results. Ms Finnie described how vital good leadership is, when things don’t go according to plan. She explained how TotalEnergies took ownership of a recent, high-potential incident and in doing so showed it had the confidence to share lessons with the wider industry. Communication is a vital part of leadership. Sharing these lessons with elected safety representatives and industry enables all to improve safety. Mr Tipler stressed the importance of directing the workforce towards a level of competence that is fit for-purpose throughout the energy transition. This was highlighted by the X-Academy. The X-Academy is a global initiative that is innovative, transformative and focused on diversity and inclusion as a cornerstone of a sustainable approach to transitional skills.

The conference ran parallel sessions on safety and the environment with the focus of the environmental sessions on innovation and regulatory compliance. It also saw the launch of the Mutual Aid Framework Agreement ( see separate article ). OEUK environment manager Caroline Brown said: "The regulatory compliance session was an invaluable opportunity for members to hear directly from the regulators on their ambitions for net zero, along with subject-matter experts discussing a wide range of legislative challenges and solutions across all offshore energies." The event pivoted around the restatement of the Principles of Process Safety Leadership which were refreshed with the latest signatories. In an emotional discussion session, the value of learning from serious incidents such as Piper Alpha and leadership in the area of process safety was affirmed by Steve Rae, executive director of Step Change in Safety; Mr Whitehouse; Ken Robertson, a member of the HSE board; and Tom Child, the CEO of offshore regulator OPRED. The maintenance backlog was highlighted as a key focus area. The panel sessions focussed how to apply the principles of process safety, allowing delegates to get under the skin of a complex topic ensuring impactful learning. The finale of the conference was an energetic call for action led by Mr Wilson and featuring voices from the offshore workforce, elected safety representatives, lawyers, and the next generation. This was a strong reminder of why we do things and a timely challenge on how we do things. OEUK's HSE team along with the events team have been gathering much useful feedback and are already planning the 2024 conference. This will feature, in addition to the topics covered this year, health and personal safety; and how to elevate D&I and the voice of the offshore workforce.

Delegates exchanging views at the HSE conference, Aberdeen

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