These are the words spoken by Lord Cullen after a 13-month inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster. Lord Cullen made 106 recommendations in his report, all of which were taken on board by the industry.

My fear is that we may well be at a tipping point in terms of joint integrity (or lack of) whereby the roll of the dice may soon not be in the favour of many downstream asset owners particularly UK COMAH sites.

Best practice, competency of personnel, legislative compliance and industry guideline adherence are some of the issues clearly not being addressed. During my experience over the last ten years I am continually unimpressed by the laxed attitude toward the subject matter. Complacency and ignorance will not pacify a Government HSE audit and will certainly not stand up in a court of law.

I encourage all those in industry that have a level of responsibility and accountability for projects, turnarounds/shutdowns/outages and daily maintenance to start thinking of not just the legislative compliance but also the benefits of managing a robust joint integrity process that will remove unacceptable risk, reduce safety and environmental issues, potential fines, loss of product, inefficient plant operation, downtime and repair costs……..the list goes on…

Let us not forget that on the night of 6th July 1988, 167 men lost their lives. I hope that industry begins to sit up and listen to the past to ensure the safe future of UK industry.

Christopher Mellows

Zulu Joint Integrity Ltd – A VML Group Company

For further details on our services please contact our dedicated team on;

UK +44(0)1656 336990 / info@zulujointintegrity.co.uk

Or contact me direct on 07724 201238 or email me at chrism@zulujointintegrity.co.uk to discuss further.



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