The safety of offshore oil rigs has been questioned by MPs who believe that helicopter flight safety is still in jeopardy. The news follows a number of different incidents where helicopters taking passengers to oil rigs have crashed into the sea and killed the people on board.
MPs have said that lives are being put at risk by ‘complacency’ setting in as well as a commercial focus which is potentially being put before safety.
Ministers want a public inquiry examining the safety of helicopters taking workers out to oil platforms and they specifically would like to know what business pressures are making an impact in this area too.
The Civil Aviation Authority published a report detailing recommendations for helicopter flight safety in February of this year. However, there has still been concerns voiced by members of the transport committee, including Louise Ellman who is the chair. She said that workers’ confidence in helicopter flights had fallen, adding: “Despite work by the CAA, serious questions remain unanswered about offshore helicopter safety in the competitive commercial environment of the North Sea. We fear a creeping complacency may be affecting safety standards.” She said that the role of the CAA had not been fully looked into and that a public inquiry would facilitate this and that all helicopters need to be fit for purpose.
The report said that regulations were still exposing offshore workers to safety problems and that there had been a slowing down of the implementation of these regulations. The organisation now wants the government to push the agency for more rapid take up of the recommendations by accident investigators.
In response, the CAA said that safety measures were being implemented and that they were looking into the safety of offshore helicopter crashes as an absolute priority and that their report detailed 70 different actions and recommendations on this matter.
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