Past disasters highlight need for OHS

Monday, 03 November, 2008

SafeWork SA has used the anniversaries of two major workplace disasters to highlight the importance of OHS, during this morning's opening of Safe Work Month in Adelaide.

In July 1988, the world's worst offshore oil industry disaster occurred in the North Sea when an explosion and fire destroyed the Piper Alpha oil rig, killing 167 workers.

Ten years later in September 1998, at Longford Victoria, an Esso gas processing plant exploded in flames. Two workers died and eight were injured.

"Both of these incidents are extreme examples of the worst that can happen when safety systems fail or are neglected," said Tom Phillips, head of the SafeWork SA Advisory Committee.

"We must reflect on these painful events, and not forget them.

"However, we must use events like Safe Work Month to teach the lessons learnt from such incidents and make sure that they are never repeated."

After covering regional South Australia for the last three weeks, Safe Work Month begins its final week in Adelaide today with more than 50 presentations across the metropolitan area.

Topics to be covered include:

  • managing safety in small businesses;
  • preventing all-terrain vehicle injuries;
  • hazards in the manufacturing industry;
  • work at heights;
  • electric shocks;
  • drugs and alcohol;
  • bullying; and
  • work/life balance.
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