‘No explanation’ on Norway helicopter crash gearbox detection system

‘No explanation crash gearbox detection system’ on Norway helicopter

RotorsImage copyrightAIBN
Image captionThe rotors detached from the helicopter

A report into a fatal helicopter crash off Norway has said there is no explanation as to why a detection system did not spot signs of damage to the gearbox.

The Super Puma 225 came down near the island of Turoey, near Bergen, while it was returning from an oil field.

Iain Stuart 41, from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, was one of 13 people who died in the crash last April.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway said the inquiry was continuing.

Iain StuartImage copyrightPOLICE SCOTLAND
Image captionIain Stuart died in the crash

The AIBN said a fatigue fracture in the gearbox led to a chain of events which resulted in the rotor becoming detached from the fuselage, which then hit an island and burst into flames.

In 2009, a Super Puma crashed off Peterhead, leaving 16 men dead.

The latest report on the Norway incident, ahead of the first anniversary of the crash, said: “The AIBN will continue the investigation into how and why two similar catastrophic accidents could happen to near identical helicopters only seven years apart.”

An inquiry into the 2009 North Sea crash concluded that the accident could have been prevented. All on board died when the Bond Super Puma came down.

Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle said after a fatal accident inquiry that precautions which might have avoided the deaths included following agreed procedures and communications.

Friday’s AIBN report said many people witnessed last year’s crash.

They included a couple with a four-year-old child who were crossing a nearby bridge on foot when they heard the helicopter.

‘Explosion in sky’

It said: “A loud bang was then heard from the helicopter and the rotor detached. The husband stopped, whereas his wife and child continued walking.

“The helicopter continued virtually straight above the bridge and the husband could see that it was yawing as it moved through the air.

“He saw dark smoke coming from the helicopter as it continued until striking the island to their southeast. The rotor came straight towards the bridge and was perceived as dangerous until it suddenly changed direction and continued north.

“Parts fell down around them, and the wife and child hurried toward the end of the bridge. They heard parts hitting rock and falling into the sea.”

Picture of the actual helicopter which crashedImage copyrightMIHAI CRISAN
Image captionThe Super Puma helicopter crashed a year ago

Another person saw the helicopter approaching before he heard a metallic sound and the rotor detached.

He described it as an “explosion in the sky”.

The helicopter then fell to the ground and burst into flames.

‘Full support’

Super Puma manufacturer Airbus said the investigation showed there were mechanical similarities between last year’s accident and the one seven years ago, which they were not aware of at the time of the Norwegian crash.

Airbus said it had now taken protective measures that it could not do after the earlier crash based on the knowledge and evidence available at the time, and also because significant parts from that accident were never recovered.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said: “While the accident investigation is not complete, EASA continues to implement robust and proven certification processes taking into account all available information.

“EASA will continue to provide its full support to the ongoing investigation until the cause of the accident will be found.”

A CHC Helicopter spokesman said: “The report confirms the progress made to date in establishing a definitive root cause. We remain fully committed to supporting the AIBN’s ongoing investigation.

“As we mark the first anniversary of the tragic accident in Turøy, our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those who were lost.

“We continue to comply fully with all guidance issued by the relevant authorities regarding the EC225 and the AS332L2.”

He added: “In both Norway and the UK, the regulators continue to have in place operational directives that effectively prohibits the use of these two models. Our global position mirrors this approach for now.

“We, along with other operators, continue to review this position as the output from the investigations dictate.”

 

Unite the Union and the OCG 

Tommy Campbell, chairman of the Offshore Coordinating Group, said: “Our position is clear. No decision should be made until we know the full results of the route cause analysis from the horrific accident in Norway last year.

“We are aware that there is no support for workers for the return of 225s.”

 

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Super Pumas have been grounded since a fatal crash off Norway last April killed all 13 people on board, including Iain Stuart 41, from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

In the wake of the tragedy off Turoy, EASA stopped flights for both the model involved, the H225, and its sister chopper the AS332 L2.

Although EASA lifted the flight ban in October, aviation regulators in the UK and Norway decided to maintain the grounding until a full investigation into the cause of the Norway accident was completed.

The main North Sea helicopter operators had to find alternate aircraft, with the majority of flights out of Aberdeen now being carried out in Sikorsky S92s.

ocg aberdeen

For the ‘people in the back’ helicopter travel remains the single most important issue in terms of health and safety for offshore workers today. When it comes to one particular aircraft, the Airbus 225, the people in the back have been expressing some strong views and most of them blunt, few want to fly in the 225 again! The horrifying image from last year’s tragedy of the rotors spinning through the air with no cabin attached will live long in the minds of workers and their families.

This message has been made abundantly clear by the Trade Unions in the Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) to regulators, manufacturers and industry. The CAA, the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), the Norwegian CAA, Oil and Gas UK, Government, all interested parties have been told we are acutely aware of the continuing concerns and lack of confidence workers across the sector have in helicopters generally, and not just the 225s.

However, when it comes to the Super Puma type the facts are stark; we have seen this aircraft type in the sea six times since 2009 with the loss of more than 30 lives. This alone makes any future proposal for a return to service extremely difficult and will cause considerable concern for workers. The investigations continue into the Norwegian tragedy and as yet we have no certainty over a root cause, which must be a pre-requisite before even a discussion could take place about this aircraft.

The OCG has made it equally clear to all parties; we will continue to defend the workforce position and will not accept any return to service without the support of the offshore workforce. In this respect we believe the oil companies and contractors across the sector must play a significant part and take cognisance of the ‘people in the back’, their employees, as to ignore their views on this issue could irreparably damage reputation, culture and industrial relations.

Jake Molloy : vice-chair of the Offshore Coordinating Group.


Oil and Gas people  news 

Two Thirds of Workers Would Refuse to Fly if Super Pumas Return

Published in Oil Industry News on Thursday, 2 February 2017

Graphic for News Item: Two Thirds of Workers Would Refuse to Fly if Super Pumas Return

After a spate of accidents occurring over several years involving two Super Puma variants (the EC-225 and the AS332-L2), many within the industry raised doubts as to the long term safety of the aircraft.

These doubts were reaffirmed on the 29th of April 2016, an EC-225 experienced a detachment of its main rotor blades during flight. The loss of main rotor blades sent the aircraft body plummeting through the air before crashing into rocky ground near Turoy Norway. All 13 on board were killed in the accident.

In response to the Norwegian accident, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) grounded both EC225 LP and AS332-L2 variants of the Super Puma indefinitely to allow detailed investigations to take place.

With provisional findings communicated and modifications made to the aircraft, EASA lifted its ban on the aircraft on the 7th of October 2016, but UK and Norwegian Aviation Authorities opted to keep national bans in place until the investigation reached a later stage.

A preliminary report into the accident is expected in the coming weeks. Many offshore workers have expressed their concerns, with the issue causing a backlash within the oil and gas community, that the aircraft may soon be returned to service. Oil and Gas People surveyed 2,500 people within the industry to canvass attitudes towards a potential return to service.

Survey Results

In response to the on-going controversy regarding the potential return to service of the Super Puma EC-225 and AS332-L2 variants, Oil and Gas People – the oil industry’s largest oil and gas jobs and news site – have conducted a survey of 2,500 oil industry workers.

The survey aims to capture the mindsets and opinions of the workers flying offshore on a regular basis and gain consensus on their attitude towards the potential reintroduction of the Super Puma fleet.

Oil and Gas People’s survey concludes that the vast majority of offshore workers opposed the return of the Super Puma variants – with 90.1% advising they would not be happy to see the aircraft return to service. The remaining 9.9% were happy to see the aircraft return to service.

Workers were then asked if they would refuse to fly on board the Super Puma variants should they be brought back into service – of which 65.5% advised they would refuse to fly. The remaining 34.5% would not object to flying in the aircraft.

When asked whether travelling in the Super Puma would cause concern or worries for themselves 88.5% advised travelling on board a Super Puma would indeed cause them concern. 7.86% advised they would have no concerns and 3.7 advise they weren’t sure.

Upon being asked if traveling in the Super Puma would cause concern or worries for family members, 89% advised travelling on board a Super puma would cause their family concern or worry, 6% advised it would not and 5% advised they were not sure.

Managing Director of Oilandgaspeople.com, Kevin Forbes commented: “We expected a large majority of the oil and gas workforce to oppose a potential return of the Super Puma, however with over 90% against and two thirds of the work force advising they would refuse to get on board, it seems that aircraft operators need to think long and hard about the ramifications of returning the aircraft to service.”

Offshore workers were also asked if anything could be done to restore their faith in the Super Puma – over 85% of respondents advised that there was nothing that could be done to change their mindsets.

Some of the remaining 15% advised that they simply had never lost faith in the aircraft in the first place, and others who stated their mindset could be changed suggested a re-design of the the main gearbox and a safer seating configuration to give passengers more room and allow quicker evacuation in the event of an emergency.

One worker responded to the question of whether his faith in the Super Puma could be restored by saying: “Yes take out some seats. When the chopper is full it’s like a can of sardines and if you have to ditch least you’ll have room to escape”

Another responded “Let the investigation conclude and facts, actual facts, be shared. If pilots and engineers are happy with the aircraft then I’m happy to fly in it. They’re the real experts. The media has a lot to answer for in scaremongering North Sea passengers and terrifying our families.”


One year on, investigators still trying to understand fatal Airbus H225 crash in Norway – See more at: https://www.verticalmag.com/news/one-year-investigators-still-trying-understand-fatal-airbus-h225-crash-norway/#sthash.LZXwz5B5.dpuf

 

One year after the fatal crash of an Airbus Helicopters H225 (EC225 LP Super Puma) operated by CHC near Turoy, Norway, investigators from the Accident Investigation Board of Norway (AIBN) are still trying to fathom why a crack initiated in the main rotor gearbox (MGB) and how it propagated.

After in-flight breakup, the main rotor was found on a small island. AIBN Photo
After the in-flight breakup of a CHC-operated Airbus Helicopters H225 near Turoy, Norway, the main rotor was found on a small island. 

 



In a preliminary report on the crash released today, investigators also raised questions about the certification process, as the failure mode “seems to differ from what was expected.”

The AIBN also confirmed “many similarities” with the MGB failure that led to the fatal crash of an Airbus Helicopters AS332 L2 (G-REDL) off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland, in 2009.

“The AIBN will continue the investigation into how and why two similar catastrophic accidents could happen to near identical helicopters only seven years apart,” the AIBN report states. “Further assessment of the follow-up on the G-REDL safety recommendations and the continuing airworthiness of the gearbox after 2009 is a relevant issue.”

The investigation has shown that the crash on April 29, 2016, which resulted in the deaths of all 13 people on board, was the result of a fatigue fracture in one of the eight second-stage planet gears in the epicyclic module of the MGB. The fatigue had its origin in the upper outer race of the bearing (inside of the gear), propagating towards the gear teeth. The crack initiation appears to be a surface micro-pit. However, the AIBN does not yet understand why the micro-pit formed and how and why the crack continued to grow sub-surface, thus preventing detection. No material conformity or manufacturing issues have been revealed during the investigation.

As previously revealed, the MGB had been involved in a road accident during transport in 2015, but the AIBN said it found no connection with the crack.

As to the similarity with the 2009 accident, the AIBN notes there was one warning of possible gear fracture in that case. Unfortunately, the actions taken did not recognize the degradation of the second-stage planet gear, which subsequently failed. It said there was no advance warning before last year’s crash.

The crack initiated in a planet gear of the epicyclic module in the main gearbox. Airbus Helicopters (via AIBN) Image
The crack initiated in a planet gear of the epicyclic module in the main gearbox. Airbus Helicopters (via AIBN) Image

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The AIBN said it will continue metallurgical examinations and seek to understand the underlying driving mechanisms of the fatigue fracture. This includes studying the recently salvaged second-stage planet carrier with the inner race from the fractured planet gear. The investigators, however, say they cannot estimate a completion date for the final report.

In a statement reacting to the publication of the AIBN’s preliminary report, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it continues to provide its full support to the investigation. “EASA continues to implement robust and proven certification processes taking into account all available information,” the regulator added. “EASA proactively takes all necessary actions to mitigate identified possible contributory factors, in order to guarantee the safety of flights.”

Meanwhile, in a statement issued following the release of the report, Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury said the company was not aware of any issue related to the 2009 crash at the time of the Turoy crash.

“The information available to us from the 2016 accident has allowed us to take protective measures that we could unfortunately not have put in place in 2009 based on the knowledge and evidence available at the time, and also because significant parts from the 2009 accident [aircraft] were never recovered,” he said.

“In the course of the investigation into the 2016 accident, we have implemented a set of protective measures which have been requested and validated by EASA. Nothing in this preliminary report alters this.”

Faury added that Airbus was “totally committed to transparency” in all matters regarding aviation safety and international helicopter regulations.

– See more at: https://www.verticalmag.com/news/one-year-investigators-still-trying-understand-fatal-airbus-h225-crash-norway/#sthash.LZXwz5B5.dpuf

 


Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

 

Offshore helicopter health & Safety is no accident through the offshore trade unions demand the highest standards in safety and training are implemented and adhered to by all stakeholders within the UKCS  also call on and lobby the  UK and European safety regulatory bodies to maximise protection all who work, fly and travel in the offshore helicopters.

If you are not already a member of an offshore trade union can you afford not to be a member?

 

Unite is the largest trade union  for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

 

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

Super Puma ban to remain in place following latest crash report

https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/137628/super-puma-ban-remain-place-following-latest-crash-report/

eurocopter-ec225 chc

 

Updated:
Written by Mark Lammey – 26/04/2017 9:57 am
A Super Puma EC225 operated by CHC Scotia.

Super Puma 225 flying restrictions will not be lifted based on the findings of a new report into last year’s fatal helicopter crash in Norway.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a letter that “no new information” had emerged from the latest preliminary report from the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN).

The new report from the AIBN will not be published until Friday, but a CAA spokesman said the authority had already received “feedback” on its content.

Mark Swan, group director, safety and airspace regulation, said in his letter: “The AIBN plans to issue a preliminary report on their investigation on the 28 April 2017 as part of their Norwegian legal obligation to report within one year of an accident.

“The report is comprehensive (101 pages) and provides significant detail. No new information for the CAA has emerged from the report and there are no safety recommendations.”

The letter was sent earlier this week to organisations, including regulators, helicopter operators and trade unions, who met in Aberdeen in February to discuss the potential return of the aircraft.

CAA said it was still working with its Norwegian counterpart on “agreeing the next steps required to be sufficiently satisfied” to remove the restrictions.

They will meet 225-maker Airbus and the pan-European safety group the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) early next month.

Mr Swan said: “CAA UK and CAA NO continue to work closely on agreeing the next steps required to be sufficiently satisfied in order to remove our Operational Safety Directives.

“Developments on the lifting and the detection capability look promising and we are hopeful that after obtaining further information we will be closer to removing our directives. At this time however the directives remain in place.”

Tommy Campbell,  Unite The Union and chairman of the Offshore Coordinating Group, said: “Our position is clear. No decision should be made until we know the full results of the route cause analysis from the horrific accident in Norway last year.

“We are aware that there is no support for workers for the return of 225s.”

Super Pumas have been grounded since a fatal crash off Norway last April killed all 13 people on board, including Iain Stuart 41, from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

In the wake of the tragedy off Turoy, EASA stopped flights for both the model involved, the H225, and its sister chopper the AS332 L2.

Although EASA lifted the flight ban in October, aviation regulators in the UK and Norway decided to maintain the grounding until a full investigation into the cause of the Norway accident was completed.

The main North Sea helicopter operators had to find alternate aircraft, with the majority of flights out of Aberdeen now being carried out in Sikorsky S92s.

Step Change in Safety’s Executive Director Les Linklater said: “No loss of life can ever be acceptable but it remains imperative that the causal factors are understood, lessons are learned and actioned from all incidents if we are to make the necessary progress for offshore flight safety.

“Although the report is yet to be published, we understand that it is comprehensive, which we welcome, and although steady progress has been made there are no safety recommendations at this point.

“We will take the time to read the report once it has been published and continue to encourage transparent communication of the findings across the industry but most importantly all the people who travel in helicopters.”

 


Health & Safety offshore and Helicopter transport is no accident  offshore trade union’s ensure the highest standards of safety and training are undertaken by all who work , travel and fly  the offshore helicopter fleet

If you are not  yet a member of an offshore trade union can you afford not to be a member

 

Unite is the largest trade union  for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

Join Unite today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

 

 

Civil Aviation Authority UK (CAA) Latest 225 update

20141013_caa_large

Latest 225 Update

Dear All

Since our 225 Update Summit on 28th February 2017 in Aberdeen CAA has continued to work closely with CAA NO, EASA and Airbus.

The AIBN plan to issue a preliminary report on their investigation on the 28 April 2017 as part of their Norwegian legal obligation to report within one year of an accident. The report is comprehensive (101 pages) and provides significant detail. No new information for the CAA has emerged from the report and there are no safety recommendations. You should recognise most of the technical content / issues from our last meeting and earlier conversations. It is possible that the ‘final’ report published next week will have changed as a result of comments so we will review the document again following publication. The report highlights the difficulty in accurately carrying out the oil cooler inspection, but the work that Airbus has done and are currently doing to introduce a new Full Flow Particle Monitor (FFPM), better known as the Eaton ODM system looks very encouraging and should be approved and available in the next few months. It is our understanding that this will offset the need for the AD oil filter and cooler checks.

CAA UK, CAA NO and Airbus met on 20th April 2017 as part of an update and information exchange. A further meeting is planned at Airbus on the 4th May 2017 and this will include EASA.

CAA UK and CAA NO continue to work closely on agreeing the next steps required to be sufficiently satisfied in order to remove our Operational Safety Directives. Developments on the lifing and the detection capability look promising and we are hopeful that after obtaining further information we will be closer to removing our directives. At this time however the directives remain in place.

Kind regards

cid:image003.png@01D2BDAF.A8B55BF0

Mark Swan

Group Director

Safety & Airspace Regulation

Civil Aviation Authority

Tel: +44 1293 57 3083

www.caa.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter: @UK­­_CAA


 Health & Safety offshore is no accident

If you work, travel or fly offshore and not yet a member of a trade union its time to get protected and Join

Join Unite online today!

Unite is the largest trade union for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen.

Join the union

Join Unite today!

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Unite the Union serves notice of official OCA strike ballot

Unite Scotland Press Release
For immediate release: Tuesday 25 April
Unite serves notice of official OCA strike ballot
The biggest offshore union has accused employers of ‘spin over substance’, as it took another step towards industrial action.
Unite the union today (Tue 25 Apr) served notice on the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), informing them that it was going to ballot members for official industrial action.
Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Our members are growing angry over the behaviour of the OCA employers. Last week, we went to talks with them at ACAS, and they told us that they didn’t have the right people there to negotiate, and asked us to explain our pay claim – even though they’ve had it for months. They then had the brass neck to issue a press saying they were disappointed with the outcome.
“Today, they have put out another press release saying they ‘remain willing’ to implement a 2 per cent pay increase. That’s the pay increase that’s already been overwhelmingly rejected by our members, and that would see them suffer a real-terms pay cut.
“If we are going to settle this dispute, we need substance, not spin. Until we get genuine commitment from the OCA to improve their offer, we will continue to act on our members’ wishes, and give them the chance to have a say on possible industrial action, including strike action.”
Unite’s offshore members are in the middle of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions with the OCA. In March, 81 per cent of Unite members voted to reject the latest deal put forward by the employers.
ENDS  
Notes to editors
For further information or comment contact Unite regional officers John Boland on 07918 630435, or Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920.
For more information on the companies represented by the OCA, see their website http://www.ocainternet.com/
Facebook: UniteScotland
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

If you work offshore and are employed by one of the OCA contracting companies and   not yet a trade union member, can you afford not to join?

Unite is the largest trade union  for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen.

it’s time to Stand up and have your say in your future
Join Unite today
1. Take  part in the OCA ballot
2. Take part and support your colleagues in the Industrial action

 

Join the union

Join Unite today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) motions from trade unions on the offshore Oil & Gas Sector

stuc2

http://www.stuc.org.uk/events/9/stuc-120th-annual-congress

 

7. OFFSHORE INDUSTRY

“at this Congress is concerned that the safety of workers in the North Sea oil and gas industry is subject to unacceptable pressure from the current UK Government policy of ‘maximising economic recovery of resources’. “Congress notes that the entire fleet of Super Puma EC225 and AS332 L2s remain grounded across the North Sea, following the fatal incident off the Norwegian coast on 29 April 2016, in which all 13 crew and passengers were killed, including Iain Stuart from Aberdeenshire.“Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as “Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as

“Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as “Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as

“at this Congress is concerned that the safety of workers in the North Sea oil and gas industry is subject to unacceptable pressure from the current UK Government policy of ‘maximising economic recovery of resources’. “Congress notes that the entire fleet of Super Puma EC225 and AS332 L2s remain grounded across the North Sea, following the fatal incident off the Norwegian coast on 29 April 2016, in which all 13 crew and passengers were killed, including Iain Stuart from Aberdeenshire. “Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as “Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as

“Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as “Congress further notes that Sikorsky issued an unprecedented global recall of its S92 fleet in December, including the S92 involved in a non-fatal incident on the West Franklin platform in the same month. “Congress also believes that a shortage of helicopters impedes the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ability to discharge its statutory duties as regulator of offshore safety. “Congress also condemns that over 120,000 jobs have been lost in the oil and gas industry in the last two years, whilst the three weeks-on, three weeks-off rota was imposed on offshore workers and is now the most common shift  pattern. Congress further notes with concern that despite decommissioning activity expected to start growing significantly from 2017, there is still only one emergency towing vessel, based on the Orkney Islands. “Congress calls on Scottish MPs to campaign for the UK Government to require the HSE to conduct unannounced inspections of operational infrastructure and an analysis of the occupational health impacts of the three

Congress further notes with concern that despite decommissioning activity expected to start growing significantly from 2017, there is still only one emergency towing vessel, based on the Orkney Islands. “Congress calls on Scottish MPs to campaign for the UK Government to require the HSE to conduct unannounced inspections of operational infrastructure and an analysis of the occupational health impacts of the three weeks-on, three weeks-off rota on offshore oil and gas workers.”

Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers

 

8. OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS “at this Congress welcomes the work carried out by the Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) of unions to defend members’ interests in the wake of the drastic decline in the North Sea oil and gas industry. Congress urges the STUC to extend its support to the OCG unions, as they continue to resist the assault on pay, working conditions, and employment and training. “Congress also calls for a further campaign to secure a more coherent government policy to protect the UK offshore sector from unfair foreign competition and to develop a structured transition plan to maximise employment opportunities in decommissioning work. “Congress also condemns the failure to use a UK- flagged and UK-crewed offshore support vessel for the northern Scotland emergency towing vessel contract, and believes this is sadly symptomatic of the current lack of policies to promote domestic skills and resources.”

Mover: Nautilus International

 

Amendment 2nd para, at end, delete “full stop”, and insert: “alongside support, including through public stake investments, to maximise continuity of employment in the North Sea with the extraction of remaining oil and gas resources”.

 

Mover: Unite the Union


Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG)

http://www.offshoreworkers.org.uk/

The Offshore Coordinating Group of offshore unions (UNITE, RMT, GMB, Nautilus International and BALPA) was launched in February 2016.

The aims and objectives of the Group are to:

• Co-ordinate the recruitment and organisation of all employees in the offshore oil and gas industries and thereafter to seek recognition on their behalf.

• Campaign to improve both the quality and security of employment in the offshore sector and the health, safety and wellbeing of all offshore workers.

• Organise and pursue effective campaigns on issues identified by the Group in the interests of the offshore workforce.

• Organise and articulate the collective trade union voice in strategic discussions with Government at all levels, regulators and employer organisations.

ocg

 

OCG Fringe meeting at the STUC Congress

SCOTTISH TRADES UNION CONGRESS (STUC)

120th Annual STUC Congress Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 April 2017 STUC Fringe Meeting ran by Offshore Co-ordinating Group Meeting the Offshore Challenge‟

“Meeting the Offshore Challenge‟

Giovanni‟s Restaurant, Morlich Hotel, Macdonald Aviemore Resort Monday 24th April 12.30 – 2.00pm


If you work offshore in the Oil & Gas sector and not yet a Union member it’s now time to Join Unite

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised

Unite is the largest trade union  for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

Join Unite today!

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stuc2

Offshore workers to be balloted on industrial action

UniteACAoca

Offshore workers are to be balloted for industrial action in a protracted dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of Unite and the GMB will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch action after talks with the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) broke down on Wednesday.

The move comes after union members voted last month to reject a new pay offer from North Sea employers.

OCA said it was “extremely disappointed” at the news.

In a statement, Unite said it would press ahead with preparations for official industrial action ballots, following the failure of talks which involved the conciliation service Acas.

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “Unite members gave a significant mandate to hold a ballot for strike action in this dispute with the OCA employers.

“Offshore workers are gearing up to campaign for a yes vote. It is time for all union members to stand up now, and fight back for better terms and conditions.”

‘Extremely disappointed’

OCA chief executive Paul Atkinson said: “We are extremely disappointed that the trade unions appear unwilling to engage on the issues which are so important to their members.

“Our priority has always been to find ways of avoiding any disruption.

“We approached our meeting today as a constructive opportunity to take the next step in bringing this dispute to a resolution.

“We believe that the OCA has acted as a fair negotiator throughout this process and that our approach balances the needs of employees with the requirements of business.”

He added: “Industrial action will only serve to make investment in the North Sea less attractive and jeopardise the long-term future of the industry.

“We remain firmly committed to doing all we can to find a lasting solution to this dispute.”

From the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-39643559?post_id=972146502826187_1600650493309115#_=_

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Unite to push ahead with offshore strike vote

The biggest offshore trade union is to push ahead with preparations for an official ballot on industrial action.

Offshore members of Unite the union are in the middle of a dispute over pay and conditions with their employers, represented by the Offshore Contractors Association.

Today (Wed 19 April), representatives of Unite met with the independent conciliation ACAS. Officers from ACAS also met with representatives of the OCA.

After the meeting, Unite confirmed that it will continue with preparations for official industrial action ballots.

In March, 81 per cent of Unite members voted to reject the latest deal put forward by the OCA.

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “Unite members gave a significant mandate to hold a ballot for strike action in this dispute with the OCA employers. Offshore workers are gearing up to campaign for a Yes vote. It is time for all union members to stand up now, and fight back for better terms and conditions.”

ENDS  

Notes to editors

For further information or comment contact Unite regional officers John Boland on 07918 630435, or Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920.

For more information on the companies represented by the OCA, see their website http://www.ocainternet.com/

Twitter: @UniteScotland

Facebook: UniteScotland

Web: http://www.unitetheunion.org/scotland

Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

 

ACAS Unite OCA