The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the independent UK safety watchdog, released its new safety statistics, showing that safety has improved offshore the UK.
There were 73 major or significant hydrocarbon releases associated with offshore installations in 2010/11, compared with 85 the previous year. There were 61 recorded in 2008/09 - the lowest since HSE began regulating the industry. Overall, there continues to be a downward trend in the total of all reported hydrocarbon releases offshore.
For the fourth year running, no workers were killed during offshore activities regulated by HSE and 2010/11 also saw a fall in the number of major injuries. There were 42 reported compared with 50 the previous year, bringing the total in line with the average of the previous five years.
The combined fatal and major injury rate fell to 151.8 per 100,000 workers in 2010/11, compared with 192 in 2009/10. There was also a continued fall in the number of minor injuries that led to three or more days off work, with 106 - down from last year's 110 - which represents a new low in the over three-day injury rate.
There were 432 dangerous occurrences reported in 2010/11, 11 fewer than the previous year. More than a third were hydrocarbon releases (38.9%) and just over a quarter (25.9%) related to equipment failures.
"This year's statistics are a step in the right direction," said Steve Walker, HSE's head of offshore safety. "It is encouraging that this is the fourth consecutive year with no reportable fatalities and a reduction in major injuries. But there is still much work to be done. Hydrocarbon releases are a key indicator of how well the offshore industry is managing its major accident risks, and the industry still hasn't matched or exceeded the record lows of two years ago.
HSE stats show safety increased offshore UK