Learning the Lessons of Piper Alpha?

Offshore workers’ perceptions of changing levels of risk
  • David Whyte
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 16)


Since the death of 167 offshore workers on the Piper Alpha installation in July 1988, and the subsequent establishment of a new regulatory regime in the offshore oil and gas industry, much has been made of a renewed commitment to safety shown by the operating oil companies and service companies in the industry. The operating companies cite the o5 billion targeted for improvements in safety since Piper Alpha [for example, Brandie, 1994/5], and the apparent success of the post Piper Alpha safety committee system [for example, BBC TV, 1996] as proof that a former complacency towards standards of safety offshore has changed. In addition, the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA, the oil companies’ collective organisation) have begun regularly to refer to official Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data, which appear to show a gradual decline in reported injury rates [for example: UKOOA, 1994b and BBC Radio Scotland, 1996].


Trade Union Operating Company Safety Case Safety Regime Consultation Exercise 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Whyte
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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