In the past few weeks I have been asked to do presentations and share my views about the legacy of Piper Alpha in this, the 25th anniversary year of the disaster.
For me, the positive legacy is the advancement in safety regulation, engineering and “safety in design” that has seen the improvement of the physical safety of high hazard workplaces. Safety in design has also improved the “survivability” of disasters so that when accidents to occur, their consequences are better mitigated.
The ongoing disappointment, however, is the persistent failure of management oversight and assurance to properly understand if health and safety risks are being managed. This is a failure that has played out in every major accident inquiry since Piper Alpha and continues to undermine effective safety management.
You can see a video presentation of these ideas and concepts here.