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All-Energy: Subsea UK Calls for Safety in Offshore Renewable Energy Industry

21 May 2010

Subsea UK called on the offshore renewable industry to “seriously consider safety above all else” at All Energy in Aberdeen 19-20 May.

Representing the UK’s subsea sector, the industry body is urging the offshore renewable industry to learn lessons from the oil and gas industry now “or face the consequences of loss of life, technical failure, commercial risk and reputational damage.”

Alistair Birnie, CEO of Subsea UK encouraged the offshore renewable energy industry to take stock of the risks involved in offshore operations, and to ensure it has a supply of safe and competent people.

“In oil and gas we have seen what can happen if safety is not a priority and the risks are not fully understood and managed,” Birnie said. “We learnt the hard way and lives were lost. The offshore renewables sector must appreciate the hostile environment in which it is working and ensure that it has done everything it can to ensure the safety of its people and mitigate the risks.

“A key underlying finding on many incidents, arguably all, has been the need to develop competency and experience,” he added.

The offshore renewable energy industry has, according to Birnie, not properly thought through how it will manage safety when it comes to marine construction and maintenance.