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North Sea Helicopter Tragedies

Sunday, September 8, 2013

GMB Support Emergency Motion On Helicopter Tragedies In North Sea At TUC Congress In Bournemouth

GMB demand that safety has a higher priority than profits with investment in new and safer helicopters.

GMB, the union for workers employed in the offshore oil and gas industry, is to support an emergency motion tabled at the TUC Congress in Bournemouth today 8th September 2013. 

The text of the motion is as follows:


Congress expresses its deepest sympathy to the relatives of those killed and injured in the helicopter tragedy off Shetland on August 23rd, the fifth incident involving Super Puma helicopters in the last four years.  

Congress is appalled that a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) over the deaths of 16 people in the Super Puma crash off the Aberdeenshire coast in April 2009 has still not be launched. 

Congress fully supports unions with members working in the North Sea and other off-shore platforms in the UK in demanding a full inquiry (as happened with the Piper Alpha tragedy 25 years ago) into causes of these incidents and tragedies.

Congress welcomes the recommendation by the ‘Step Change In Safety’s Helicopter Safety Steering Group’ (HSSG) to initially ground all Super Puma’s operating in the north sea while assessments were carried out into the August 23rd incident. Congress notes that flights have recommenced with the exception of the Super Puma L2 which will not carry passengers until the reasons for the ditching are known.

Congress supports unions giving support to members who refuse to travel to and from work on Super Puma helicopters until it is clear they are declared safe and the health and safety concerns related to travel to and from platforms are addressed.

Congress demands the helicopter operators and the oil companies involved ferrying workers must be required to now invest in new helicopters – that are safe and fit for purpose - from the vast profits currently being made.”

 The unions speaking in the debate will be mover:       Unite, seconder: RMT with  GMB and BALPA  supporting.

 David Hulse, GMB National Officer for the offshore sector, said GMB is calling on the full support of the TUC in demanding a full inquiry for members working in the north sea and other off shore platforms as to what caused these incidents and tragedies.

GMB demand that safety has a higher priority than profits with investment in new and safer helicopters.”


Contact David Hulse 07971 266157 or Brian Negus 07921 885 786 or Harry Donaldson 07885 456726 GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 or 07974 251 823


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