Our House is Open: Safety of Offshore Workers

NDP Labour Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) demanded today that government look at introducing a safer work rotation for offshore employees.

“We have studies showing that a huge majority of accidents and stress happen in the third week of the three-week rotation at sea,” Kirby noted. “In Norway and Great Britain, workers are at sea for just two weeks.

“Our oil industry workers are responsible for the current prosperity of this province,” Kirby said. “Why would we not do everything we can to ensure their safety in a dangerous environment?”

Kirby is making a presentation on several aspects of offshore safety this morning at the Hebron Public Review.

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NDP Caucus: Our House is Open
Question for November 30, 2011
Dale Kirby, MHA, St. John’s North

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources

Offshore workers in Norway have for many years enjoyed a 2-week-on 4-week-off work rotation.

In the United Kingdom, offshore workers recently won a 2-week-on three-week-off work rotation.

Offshore workers in our province currently work three-on and three-off.

Mr. Speaker, there are many indications the longer rest schedule is a benefit to the stressful conditions of offshore work. This has been recognized in other jurisdictions and acted on.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister of Natural Resources, will government immediately work with the oil companies, workers’ representatives and the CNLOPB to introduce a more progressive work rotation for the offshore workers of Newfoundland and Labrador?

Associated Caucus Members: 

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