The RMT is marking the 25th anniversary this month of the world's worst offshore oil industry disaster. On 6 July 1988 an explosion on the Piper Alpha oil platform killed 165 men, with two more dying aboard the standby vessel Sandhaven. Dozens more were seriously injured.
The years following forced a turning point in the industry in terms of safety, but despite renewed pledges spurred by this anniversary, the RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy struck a note of caution. In an interview in the The Scotsman he said, "You can never say it will never happen again, and if we have a culture of fear, as is the case in the US, then even when you have one of the most modern units in the world, as Deepwater Horizon was, you can end up with it at the bottom of the sea with 11 workers killed. That's why we have to strive for continuous improvement."
BBC2 is to show a new documentary film – Fire in the Night: the Piper Alpha Disaster – in July. ■