Piper Alpha survivor to manage UK’s offshore safety body

UK’s offshore oil and gas safety body Step Change in Safety has appointed Steve Rae, a Piper Alpha accident survivor, as its new Executive Director.

Illustration: Offshore drilling rigs in Invergordon, Image by Bob White/Flickr, shared under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 License 

“Steve is a born and bred Aberdonian who is held in high regard within the global oil and gas community having spent more than 35 years working in the industry. He began his career in the early-1980s as an offshore technician and worked on many North Sea installations before being assigned to Piper Alpha.

“His escape and survival from the platform on the night of 6th July 1988 left him with an unquenchable desire to make a positive change in the safety culture across the industry,” the organization said in an announcement on Wednesday.

Rae, who has in his career worked for Noble Drilling, Seawell, and Archer said: “Words cannot express how honored I feel to have been appointed as the Executive Director of Step Change in Safety. For me, the role presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a significant part in shaping the future safety culture in our industry. Those who know me personally, or have heard me talk, will appreciate how much this means to me.”

“I look forward to taking up my new position in July and until such time I will continue to give my current employer, Well-Safe Solutions my full attention during this exciting part of their journey.”

In 2007, Rae was a member of the Leadership Team at Step Change in Safety, responsible for planning and monitoring the activities of the organization.

According to the organization, his other past industry roles include: Director, OPITO; Chairman, North Sea Chapter; and Director, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). In 2013, the IADC recognized Steve with the ‘Val Hood’ award for his services to the Drilling Industry.

Bob Fennell, member of the Step Change in Safety Board and co-Chair of the Leadership Team said: “For me, Steve’s appointment was the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make as he is perfect for the role. He has an established industry presence and is a great orator and business leader. Most importantly, Steve genuinely wants to make the UK oil and gas industry a safer place to work for its workforce.”

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