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EnergyVoice.com: Shell handed safety notice over refuge area on North Sea platform

Shell has been dealt with a safety notice after failing to properly ensure workers would be protected during an emergency on a North Sea platform.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued the improvement notice following an inspection of the Gannet Alpha installation, around 112miles east of Aberdeen, in August.

The inspector said the operator “failed to, ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the Temporary Refuges on the Gannet Alpha Installation is capable of remaining effective in an emergency”.

Temporary Refuge areas are where workers can take cover during an emergency or evacuation procedures get underway, protecting them from flames and toxic gases.

Shell has until February 28 to comply and said it is making “good progress” towards doing so.

The inspector said the refuge area did not have a clearly defined boundary, including a lack of a definitive list of dampers.

This meant there had been inadequate inspection to show they would work in an emergency.

The latest inspection in August did not pass Shell’s own safety standards, the inspector added.

A Shell spokesman said: “We were issued with an HSE Improvement Notice in early September in relation to the maintenance of the Temporary Refuge on the Gannet Alpha installation.

“We’re required to comply with this by the end of February and are currently making good progress in carrying out the necessary works.”

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