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Offshore Workers Exposed To Alpha Radiation

Posted: 10/05/2017

There are countless health and safety issues that those working in offshore environments have to encounter, which company bosses will have to take into account and ensure that disaster preparedness & response plans are in place to mitigate such risks.

According to a BBC Scotland report, a group of offshore employees were exposed to alpha radiation on a platform off Shetland in December 2016, while carrying out shutdown work with pipe equipment.

Rigging Supervisor, Steve Innes told the news source that the company in question had failed in its duty of care to its employees and the workers now face cancer fears, with blood tests still ongoing.

“We had all been working on it without the proper [personal protective equipment], because they had assumed it was clear. At first, we were all in shock. We have been exposed to radioactive material for hours at a time,” he commented.

Regional officer for the Unite union John Boland added that it is the union’s belief that the workers have been treated terribly and it is essential for employee safety that transparency and openness is evident with regards to safety incidents so that health and safety lessons can be learned.

Sadly, this is not the first time this kind of incident has occurred. During 2015, the Daily Record reported that an offshore worker was hit with radiation while on a North Sea oil platform. Non-destructive testing was being carried out on pipework when the employee was exposed. He was treated by medics on site and later returned to work.