Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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New Offshore Safety Regulations Come into Force in UK

New regulations, which aim to cut the risks for those workers/employees involved in offshore installations or similar activities but also safeguard the environment as well as costal economies, came into effect on 19 July 2015.

The Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015 – otherwise known as "SCR 2015" – now apply to all oil and gas operations, which take place in UK waters.

SCCR 2015, which replaces the 2005 regulations, is the UK government's response to the EU's Offshore Safety Directive, which called from a more joined-up approach to offshore safety following the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010

Under SCCR 2015, an offshore competent authority, namely, the Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR) has been created, who will have to be notified by those wishing to commence production installations at an early design stage.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has very much welcomed the introductions of SCR 2015. Commenting, Chair of IOSH's Offshore Group stated.

"The new regulations will help to protect thousands of workers in the offshore industry.

"It is vital that all operators follow the regulations and they will feel the benefits of doing so. After all, safety and health is an investment, not a cost."

Also commenting, another member of IOSH's Offshore Group, Ian Waldram, stated:

"Whilst the agreed intention was to minimise changes to the 2005 UK legislation, judged by many as a 'best in class' regulatory regime, there are in fact a significant number of changes - some small, others more significant.

"All OSH professionals working in the UK sector are advised at least to review the detailed guidance to the revised regulations to determine whether and how the processes and responsibilities in the organisation(s) they advise may need to be updated or reinforced."

Richard Jones, who is IOSH's Head of Policy and Public Affairs, also commented:

"This is an important opportunity to achieve consistent standards across Europe and to build on the UK's well-respected approach. IOSH members will have a key role in supporting industry with implementation."

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