Oil and gas releases continue despite North Sea safety improvements
The offshore industry is failing to get to grips with the number of oil and gas releases at production facilities in the North Sea, according to a report.
The latest figures from industry body Oil and Gas UK show that the number of escapes has remained steady at about 100 despite calls for improvements.
The report said they had the potential to cause serious injury or death.
In April, the Health and Safety Executive expressed concern about the number of gas releases in the industry.
The regulator said some had come "perilously close to disaster" and that more needed to be done to tackle them.
Oil and Gas UK said the new figures showed improvement across a broad range of health and safety indicators last year.
The industry said there were 255 reportable incidents - where there is the potential to cause significant injury from incidents including releases, fire or explosion, and dropping objects.
This was 67% lower than in 2000/2001 and the lowest on record, with no work-related fatalities recorded in 2017.
However, Oil and Gas UK warned that vigilance was needed
Health and Safety manager Trevor Stapleton said: "As a major hazard industry, the UK's offshore oil and gas sector has a clear duty to protect the health and safety of our people.
"The data shows that while we continue to see improvements across a range of trends, there can be no room for complacency.
"In a year where we marked 30 years since Piper Alpha, we're all too aware of the personal and long-lasting consequences if things go wrong."