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Employee safety advice to Shell ‘bean counter’, Peter Voser

COMMENTS FROM RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP HSE AUDITOR, BILL CAMPBELL (RIGHT) RELATING TO THE ARTICLE:

HSE feared a ‘catastrophe’ at Brent C platform

Learning after the event is a recipe for Disaster

Maybe its because he is a bean counter but Peter Voser does not seem to understand that risks need to be controlled before the event – not raised to unacceptable levels where loss of containment occurs – it would seem on a regular basis – within Shell North Sea operations and elsewhere around the World in its daily activities.

In general loss of containment, or other circumstances causing flammable atmospheres to exist, when these exist concurrent with a source of ignition causing an explosion,  is the largest cause of industrial deaths and asset damage worldwide.

Containing hydrocarbon releases into the atmosphere immediately after the event is simply not good enough and from time to time your luck runs out as witnessed by Piper Alpha, Brent Bravo and Deepwater Horizon.

Containing hydrocarbon leaks after they occur especially on a remote offshore installation is akin to gambling with the lives of those you have a duty of care to protect
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Peter Voser as quoted said: “We have had leaks, we are learning out of them, we are containing them immediately and I think that is the way to improve in the longer term.

“Our safety record has been improving all the time, not just in the UK but also on a global basis. I think we are recognised as a leader in this field.”

“Let me be clear that safety is a key component of our thinking on how we operate our assets. We are constantly improving and we are learning,”

COMMENTS FROM A RETIRED SHELL NORTH SEA PLATFORM EXPERT

Nothing seems to change does it.  After all the exposure Shell have had to thousands of adverse comments on the TV, main line daily newspapers, Sunday newspapers , radio broadcasts, specialist Oil and Gas magazines and the regulator HSE, who have a full set of very blunt teeth, over the last 14 years still have the same approach.  Even the the Donovans collating the worldwide misdemeanours does not penetrate their armour.  Safety is our main concern!  We are committed to safety,  ad nauseum.  I think in Shell case being a member of “Big Oil” they have a huge publicity and legal departments that work 24/7 365 to prepare coverup statements and endless denials of extremely poor Operational Management across the entire  Global endeavour.  Basically they don’t care.

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