This year we are very proud at Kelvin TOP-SET to be sponsoring the Gold Safety Award at the Press and Journal’s annual award ceremony in Aberdeen on 8th September. We have always been committed to safe operations, but this is the first year that the opportunity has arisen for us to demonstrate our commitment by sponsoring the Gold Award. At the time of writing, we know that several companies have applied in the hope of winning, but, of course, we don’t know which company will be selected. However, we are delighted at the high level of interest, in this ‘Safety Oscar’, and know that any company wishing to be considered will already be operating to the highest standards.
As we all know, much more important than any award, is the full-time commitment to safety. Younger people in the industry won’t remember the situation before the introduction of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, which placed a duty on all employers “to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work” of all of their employees. The following examples illustrate the total change in the approach to safety that has continued since the 1970s.
Before the Act came into force nine people were killed in the construction of the Inverkip Power Station on the Clyde Estuary a few miles south of Greenock. After the Act came into force, just two miles across the estuary at the Ardyne Point construction yard from 1975 to 1977 three rigs or part rigs were built with no fatalities. This is the standard that we rightly expect.
Yes, sadly, many people have been killed and injured in the North Sea oil operations, and we must never forget Piper Alpha. That was another major change point when safety regulation changed from the Department of Energy to the Health and Safety Executive. One injury, one life, is far too many, but there has been a massive improvement and commitment to safe working in recent years. Still this is never enough, we cannot ease up on safety. We must seek continual improvement. That is one of the reasons that we are delighted to sponsor this Gold Award to one of the many companies seeking continuous improvement and constant safety.