HSSG response to AAIB special bulletin

HSSG response to AAIB special bulletin

21-Oct-2013 Source: Step Change in Safety

The AAIB  has issued a second special bulletin as part of its on-going investigation into the tragic helicopter accident on 23rd August off Sumburgh Head. Step Change in Safety’s Helicopter Steering Group (HSSG) welcomes this second bulletin and acknowledges the additional information that it contains.

The first bulletin from the AAIB issued on 5th September said that it had “not found any evidence of a technical fault that could have been causal to the accident”.   The second bulletin confirms this.  It should be noted that the latest report says “The main rotor shaft was intact, as was the main rotor gearbox. The main rotor gearbox was inspected internally via access panels; no evidence of any pre-impact damage was found. The engines also showed no evidence of pre-impact damage.”

Les Linklater, team leader, Step Change in Safety said “This bulletin helps us to have a better understanding of what happened but not yet why it happened, and that will form part of the conclusion of the investigation.    It’s very important that we all understand why this tragic accident happened and this will be a significant part of the on-going investigation.”

Linklater went on to say

“Throughout this challenging time, there has been a continued sense of co-operation within the industry and an on-going commitment to engage our entire workforce through the boots-on activities.  This collaborative engagement will of course continue as we work together to improve our safety performance.  Moreover we will continue to monitor the investigation and act accordingly where safety improvements are identified.   We are also continuing to work with the helicopter operators: Bristow, Bond (Avincis Group) and CHC who have already instigated a review, which is focusing on safety-related processes.

Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG), part of Step Change in Safety, has a remit to work proactively to identify and address cross-industry issues around helicopter safety, related to helicopter operations in the UK oil and gas industry. Helicopter operators, oil and gas operators and contractors, offshore trade unions, the pilots’ union BALPA, the regulators HSE and CAA and Oil & Gas UK are all represented at a senior level on the work group.

Step Change in Safety is a member led industry body with a 16 year track record of working together with all stakeholders:
• Unions
• Elected Safety Representative of the workforce
• Employing Companies
• Regulators – Health and Safety Executive.

Its sole objective is to continuously improve the safety performance of the UK Oil and Gas industry through collaborative working.

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