Aberdeen Conference Examines Human Risk

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Risk management experts from around the world will gather in Aberdeen on March 5 for a conference that will set the agenda for dealing with the issue and impact of human risk in the oil and gas industry.

The first international conference of its kind in the world and proudly organized by SPE Aberdeen, it will see an impressive list of international speakers and up to 400 delegates attend the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center to take part in “Another Perspective on Risk – The Next Tipping Point.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, who chaired the public enquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster. The outcomes of the enquiry have transformed HSE operational procedures in the North Sea and the offshore oil and gas industry worldwide.

Also included in the impressive line up of speakers is David Pritchard, co-chair of the Presidential Technical Commission for the Deepwater Horizon study group (U.S.) – this being the first time a key investigator in the Macondo disaster has publicly addressed the industry in a conference/public setting.

SPE Aberdeen’s Another Perspective Committee chair Ella Minty who has organized this major event said: “Amongst the conference’s main aims will be to address human risk and its impact upon industry operations. It is the first step towards building a genuine platform for dialogue and discussion amongst industry leaders and risk experts. The lessons learned and all the issues arising during the day will be followed up and, hopefully, built upon. There are matters where the industry is divergent but, when it comes to people or human risk/factors, the solutions need to be jointly found.

“We are absolutely honored that Lord Cullen has agreed to be our keynote speaker, this being the first time his Lordship attends an SPE Conference. We are also delighted that so many leading authorities from the U.K., the United States and elsewhere have agreed to attend the conference proceedings.”

The conference will be hosted by STV journalist Andrea Brymer. The panel session brings together a distinguished group of safety experts including Mark Griffon, member of the US Chemical Safety Investigation Board; Les Linklater, team leader of Step Change in Safety, Susan Mackenzie, Head of HSE Energy Division Hazardous Installations Directorate, Health And Safety Executive and Jake Molloy, regional organizer of the RMT union.

Plenary session speakers include Dr Tim Marsh, expert witness at the Safety Culture and Management of Change forums at the Cullen Inquiry; Lillian Espinoza-Gala, independent researcher and Member of Berkley University’s Centre for Catastrophic Risk Management (U.S.); Jem Thomas, head of operations of Albany and consultant to the U.K. Government’s Stabilization Unit and Thomson Reuters; William Libby, director of key accounts for Control Risks and the U.S. lecturer and author Loren Steffy.

Interest in the event is already high and is expected to attract business leaders and senior managers of operators and service companies.


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