The black days (1/4)
The black days (1/4)
Click for full size image     A hazardous workplace
The UN’s International Labour Organisation defines offshore jobs as the most hazardous in the world. Producing oil and gas under high pressure always carries a risk of fire, blow-out or explosion. Knowledge and experience are needed to handle complex technology in a harsh climate. Safety for people, the environment and assets has a high priority in Norway’s oil sector. But major accidents have still happened, with people killed on platforms, during diving and in helicopter crashes.

Rig capsizes
The Mayday call from the Alexander L Kielland accommodation rig (flotel) at 18.33 on 27 March 1980 heralded the worst disaster in Norway’s offshore history. This unit capsized, killing 123 people. Only 89 of those on board survived. The commission of inquiry concluded that fatigue caused a weld on one of the bracings to give way. This break propagated where a hydrophone was welded on, and one of the five support columns was torn free. The rig quickly developed a list, and rolled over completely after 20 minutes.

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