Brae Alpha

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Marathon had until the end of July to sort out safety issues on its Brae Alpha related to the condition of stairways and walkways.

The company was told by HSE that cladding on two stair wells was in a poor condition and this was putting workers at risk.

The HSE also said Marathon didn't have an effective written scheme in place to identify problems with fabric maintenance on Brae A, for things like walkways, stairways, handrails, cable trays, bolted connections and flanges, pipework, pipe supports, valves and cladding. So it's like a lot of other places out there then, held together with string and tape!

The HSE improvement notice gave Marathon until 31 July to comply.

We hope the work has been done to rectify these problems, but you've got to wonder why they got rid of a load of engineering troops last year if this is the state of the place. Surely questions need to be asked about how the kit was allowed to get into this sort of condition in the first place. Management on board the installation must have been aware of the developing problems, so didn't they report it, or was it a case of lets turn a blind eye? Or maybe they did raise

concerns, but these were just ignored by senior management? Whatever way you look at it, you've got to ask why it needed an HSE inspection team to point it out to them?

The HSE KP3 report published in July 2009 touched on these issues, and one of the two key findings was asset integrity/process safety management and physical state of plant.

The Offshore Energy Branch advises members to report these types of problems to us if you come across them and we will endeavour to expose these failures in EIE or Blowout.

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