Unite raises serious safety concerns after ban on Airbus Superpuma is lifted
Scotland’s biggest union, Unite, has set up a petition to stop all commercial flights of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters in order to provide reassurance to offshore workers that their safety is paramount. This comes after the CAA announced plans to lift the ban last month.
Unite and other offshore unions continue to demand the highest possible safety regulations and training when it comes to helicopter journeys involving offshore workers and this decision jeopardises this.
Unite regional officer, Tommy Campbell said: “Our members are telling us that they have no confidence in the safety of these airframes and neither do their families. Offshore workers deserve to return back home safe to loved ones from working in the North Sea.
“We need not only the usual assurances from the Oil and Gas UK operators, we need them to demonstrate that safety comes first and that they will not support the reintroduction of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters.
“Until a full investigation is complete and the results are known there should be no ‘Business as Usual’ return to commercial operations in the UKCS involving these airframes.”
Transporting offshore workers to and from oil and gas installations should be a safe and routine practice. However, Unite is claiming that a significant number of offshore workers and union members have expressed the view that the root cause of the gearbox problem that caused the crash in April 2016 remains unknown and as long as it does they demand the airframes should remain grounded.
Unite will continue to work with all stakeholders in the UKCS who have a responsibility for health and safety in the Oil and Gas sector to ensure the highest safety standards are upheld and that commercial pressure and profit will not come before workers’ safety.
For further information contact: Tommy Campbell 07810157920
Notes to Editors
- Unite recently launched a Back Home Safe 2017 petition which calls for a halt to the reintroduction of the Airbus Superpuma model into service and the permanent cessation of commercial operations in the UKCS until the root cause of the gearbox problem is found and a full investigation is complete. In just over a week the petition has received around 1,500 signatures.
- Unite recently welcomed the introduction of the H175 Helicopter model as an alternative to the Superpuma, into commercial operations in the UKCS by helicopter operators including CHC. Unite claim this will offer some reassurance to members who make the journey to and from offshore oil and gas installations.
- Back Home Safe Petition 2017 – “Do Not reintroduce the Airbus H225s and AS332s and L2s airframes in commercial operations in the UKCS” petition
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