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WIG Members

Dave Walker - WIG Chair

Russell Thomas

Dave moved to Aberdeen from university in 1991 to work as a geologist and finance the write up of his PhD. He worked with a number of geological consultancy companies and spent a year at Heriot-Watt University's Department of Petroleum Engineering. As a geologist, Dave specialised in characterising the reasons for permeability heterogeneity in reservoir rocks at both macro and microscopic scales.

In 1995 he joined the Health and Safety Executive and spent 5 years regulating a range on onshore industries. On moving to onshore major hazard work in 2000, he then dealt with a variety of COMAH sites including refineries, oil terminals and whisky distilleries.

He joined OSD in 2005 and worked in an inspection management team (IMT) leading interventions on a range of duty holders. He currently leads an IMT that has OSD's lead for a number of major production & MODU operators. He has worked on major projects including decommissioning and dismantling and carbon capture and storage. He has a particular interest in focussing on duty holders that appear to have deficiencies in their organisational capability for managing major accident hazards as revealed by the HCR performance or other performance indicators.

Paul Adamson - HSE Offshore Regulatory Inspector

Paul Adamson

HSE Petroleum Specialist Inspector for the past 17 years during which he has regulated many of the major operators and drilling contractors on the UKCS. Had a three year spell in OSDs SMS Topic Specialist Team, before returning to OSD Inspection Management Team, his present position.

Before joining HSE OSD he spent 20 years with the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation in Production Management, starting as an apprentice at Mines around Castleford and leaving as Colliery General Manager of Sharltson and Nostell Collieries near Wakefield.

Mikey Craig - Transocean

mikey craig

Mikey Craig is a Rig Safety and Training Co-Coordinator for Transocean, he currently works offshore on the Transocean Sedco 704. Before embarking upon a full time role in offshore Safety, Mikey was a Radio operator for 21 years - serving predominantly on drilling rigs. Mikey also served for 10 years as an elected Safety Rep, and was very active within that function.  In addition he was formerly the elected Chairman of the offshore workers union - OILC, before stepping down in order to devote more time to his role offshore.

Mikey is very energetic with respect to Safety, his particular passion being the development of better safety involvement from the drilling sector workforce.  He has been an active member of the W.I.G. since its rebirth in 2007, and gave a very passionate presentation with respect to Developing a Functioning Safety Committee at the first WIG event in Edinburgh, where he drew parallels with his experience of the Piper Alpha disaster and how that disaster might have been averted - had better workforce involvement in Safety been more prevalent at the time."

Willie Gibson - Corporate Health Safety Environment, Production Services Network (PSN)

Willie Gibson

Started work offshore in 1985. Deck Crew and HLO. Safety Rep when the Regs came in 1989 until 1998. Asked to take up a six month secondment to Shell’s Workforce Involvement Team working with Aberdeen University.

I carried out Safety Climate Surveys throughout Shell Locations and was involved in the ‘Accountability for Safety’ work launched in 2001, followed by ‘Performance through HSE’.

I became part of Shell Behavioural Team as part of EP Europe.

In 2004 I joined the Step Change in Safety Support Team and was involved in making Step Change the leading Industry Safety Body, (now the Safety Arm of Oil and Gas UK). I looked after the Elected Safety Reps Network. I have been involved with many Industry bodies mostly related to Workforce Involvement in Safety.

In 2008 I returned to my own Company PSN and am currently with Corporate Safety, with some responsibility for ‘Aristos’ our Behavioural Programme which I help to look after and facilitate with an international remit.

Leslie Larchet - OIM, Centrica Storage

Leslie Larchet

Les has been in the offshore industry for some 35 years starting as a contract electrical technician. He has been an OIM for the past 23 years, 11 of which have been with the Rough field.

Having been the duty OIM when the Marbella factory ship collided with 3B and for the Feb 16th incident he has practical experience of emergency response which has been used in developing the field’s response plans and training programmes.

He is involved in developing training and competence within CSL that is both targeted on an individual’s needs whilst requirement for training during leave periods.

He has been involved in many different workgroups from dealing with Management of Change, Permit to Work, Competence and training and emergency preparedness.

Frank Cairney - HSE Manager, Petrofac

Frank Cairney – OIM, Petrofac

Frank has been in the oil industry since leaving school at the age of 17, completing 20 years with Shell prior to joining Petrofac 9 years ago.

After 26 years working offshore in numerous positions, most recently as OIM on the Kittiwake for 8 years, he now holds the position, since May 2012, of HSE Manager (Operations), with all Duty Holderships, and Operations and Maintenance contracts in the UK for Petrofac within his remit.

Frank says of himself ‘I am an individual with high safety standards, and I expect the same from my work colleagues. Most importantly, I’m in touch with the current offshore environment, and what the real safety issues are at the coal face. I am focussed on improving safety performance for the betterment of the workforce, as well as reducing bureaucracy. For this reason I was attracted to the WIG forum, and what the group stands for.’

Jake Molloy - Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT)

Jake Malloy

Jake began working in the construction industry before his first engagement offshore in 1980, that of installation plumber in the Ninian Field. Multi-discipline roles soon developed and he quickly learnt new skills, including fire and gas system testing, process assistant, then lifting and heli-deck operations, ending up on the Brent Field in 1986.

February 1990 saw him elected as an offshore safety representative, a role he combined with that of Helicopter Landing Officer for almost 7 years. It was early ‘97 when he stood and won another election, to the post of OILC General Secretary. OILC then merged with RMT and Jake became responsible for the union’s offshore energy branch.

Mark Milne - International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC)

Mark Milne

Mark joined the Oil and Gas Industry in 1984 working as a Roustabout for Houlder Marine Drilling on MODUs. He progressed through the drilling ranks to the position of OIM prior to moving onshore in 2003.

After a brief spell working within the Transocean QHSE dept he was seconded to the Step Change Support Team as a representative of IADC where he spent 1 1/2 years working on various industry lead initiatives and as Chairman of the Step Change OIM's network group. On returning to Transocean Mark took on the role as Training Manger for Transocean's Europe and Africa business and then moved into the position of Global Training Manager where he was based in Houston for three years.

Returning to Aberdeen in 2009 he was appointed Rig Manger Performance where he managed various rig operations in the UKCS prior to accepting the position on QHSE Manager for Transocean's North Sea Operations in November 2010.

John Taylor - UNITE The Union

John Taylor

I was born 1952, London and moved to Dundee in 1963. At the age of 15, I joined the Merchant Navy. In 1975 I began work at the Michelin tyre company in Dundee, became a shop steward for the Transport and General Workers Union and in the same year joined the Labour Party.

For the past 19 years, I have served as a Regional Industrial Organiser in Aberdeen with the Transport and General Workers Union, now known as Unite. My job is varied with responsibility for social workers in local government and members in the aviation, nuclear, textile, food drink and tobacco, petrochemical and offshore industries.

In relation to the offshore industry, I have been a member of OPITO’s board for 19 years and at present, I am chairperson of the Offshore Training Foundation. Along with other Union officials, I have represented the TUC on the Oil Industry Advisory Committee and the Helicopter Liaison Group. I am the current chairperson of the Inter Union Offshore Oil Committee and a member of Step Change.

Duncan Tee - OIM, Teekay Petrojarl

Duncan Tee

I went to sea at 16 as deck boy and joined Maersk in 1990 as third officer. I worked my way up through the ranks and became a master mariner in 2000. I was also promoted to Captain of my own ship in 2000. To spend more time with my family I left the sea and became a Humber Pilot in 2001.

I was not happy with the way the service was run when it was taken over by the harbour authority and so left in 2005. I became a marine operator onboard an FPSO for Maersk Contractors.

With steady progression upwards I became stand-in OIM in 2009 and remained there until 2011 when I took a position with Teekay Petrojarl as full time OIM.

Austin Grant - OIM, CNR International

Austin Grant

Austin has been in the Oil industry for over 16 years, starting as an electronics technician with a Drilling instrumentation design and service company and moving in to operations as a trainee production operator, with Petrofac on the Ninians.

In his offshore career, he has progressed from a trainee process operator through the roles of, Control Room Operator and Production Supervisor, over the 3 Ninian installations and the Tiffany. In his current role, since 2010, as OIM on the Tiffany Platform with CNR International, Austin has experience in a wide range of projects from shutdown planning to plant commissioning and maintenance structuring. He has also been involved with workforce led Behavioural Safety and reinforcing a safe safety culture in achieving safety excellence and being part of a just culture implementation as OIM.

Les Linklater - Step Change in Safety

Les Linklater

Having started as a technician in the nuclear industry, Les Linklater has been working in the oil and gas sector since 1989. Les has knowledge and experience in a number of key areas ranging from technical writing, engineering, operations and project management. His technical experiences cover both topside and subsea instrument and control systems, in operator, engineering contractors and service company environments.

Les has held a number of roles focussing upon people and organisational development with the ECITB and latterly within Aker Solutions. Les draws on his depth of technical experience and passion for developing people to build practical, sustainable training, development and competence solutions. Having recently joined Step Change in Safety in January 2012 as Team Leader for the organisation, Les is responsible for coordinating Step Change in Safety’s work programme, operations and support with the goal to make the UK the safest place to work worldwide in the oil and gas industry.

Boyd Wright – Health and Safety Policy Manager – Oil and Gas

Boyd Wright

Boyd joined Oil and Gas UK in June 2013 as Health and Safety Policy Manager where his primary task is to support and influence stakeholders in those key Health and Safety issues impacting the industry, and to contribute to making the UK the safest place to work worldwide. Boyd joined Oil and Gas UK from Centrica Energy where he was Head of HSEQ with the responsibility for strategy, the HSEQ management system and for driving cultural improvement across all of Centrica's operating regions around Europe and overseas.

Boyd joined the offshore industry in 1980 and has experience both in the UK and around the world. He has been the senior HSE person with several operators (Total, Sun Oil, Venture Production) and a major contractor (Atlantic Power / PGS). He also spent several years as a Consultant specialising in management systems, Safety Cases and Safety Culture. He is a past chairman of the UKOOA Safety Committee and a Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

Steve Barton - Salamis/CNR International

Steve Barton

I have worked in the construction industry since 1985, where I began work as a steel erecter/rigger. I started working offshore in 1998 and after achieving the rope access course to level 3 in 2000, my role as a rope access team leader/safety supervisor allowed me to travel around the North Sea, and abroad, working on various platform's and projects. I currently work for Salamis on the CNRI Tiffany platform as part of a multi disciplined deck crew. I first became an elected safety rep via a previous employer but took the role up again when I came to work on the Tiffany. I am a very pro-active when it comes to safety and try to encourage everyone to do the same which can be quite challenging but also very rewarding.

Nicky Elphinstone - Corporate HSE Advisor for UK Business - Forum Energy Technologies

Nicky Elphinstone

Nicky joined the offshore industry over twenty years ago after serving as a fuels operator in the Royal Air Force. From the very offset of his offshore career, he became involved in safety, in the form of Safety Representative for numerous duty holders such as Sonat, Sedco Forex, Transocean and Total. Nicky has gained much experience through his involvement in various safety initiatives and groups within our industry, ranging from participating in the HSSG, sitting on the Step Change Leadership Team and assisting with the development of new advanced training for offshore safety reps. The highlight of Nickys offshore career was being announced as UK Oil and Gas Safety Representative of the year early in 2013. Nicky is now currently based onshore after joining Forum Energy Technologies as Corporate HSE Advisor for UK Business.

Glen Sheppard - Nexen

Glen Sheppard

I have been working in the Oil industry over 25 years, starting as an trainee Instrument Tech with Shell at St Fergus before moving over to Operations as an Ops Tech in 1992.

I went to work offshore in 1997, joining the Britannia project where I carried out the roles of Instrument Tech, Responsible Instrument Person, Ops Tech and CRO. From there, I moved to the Scott with Amerada Hess in 2001 and did similar work, gaining further experience in the CCR. In 2005 I took up a post on the Cormorant Alpha with Shell where I spent a couple of years before heading to Brae Bravo with Marathon where I had 5 great years and it enabled me to gain further experience as a CRO. In 2012 I joined Nexen as a CRO on the Buzzard and in 2013 I was elected as an SI971 Elected Safety Rep – my 5th appointment in the last 15 years across 5 assets and 5 Operators, and was recently part of the Workgroup that helped set up the OPITO approved Additional Safety Reps Training.

Dave Walker - HSE Manager – Aker Solutions

Dave Walker

David joined the oil and gas industry some 20 years ago, initially working as an Offshore Medic before becoming actively involved in health and safety. He worked with several operators before joining Aker Solutions (MMO UK) as HSE Manager in 2011 where he has responsibility for the management and day to day running of the HSE team.

David plays an active role within Step Change In Safety and is the focal point for Aker Solutions. Over the years he has been involved in a variety of workgroups including emergency response and, more recently, Step Change’s human factors steering group. He was recently elected as OCA Representative.

David is a dedicated, results orientated and passionate HSE professional. He is delighted to be working with like-minded individuals who share a common goal, to make the oil and gas industry within the UK the safest place to work.

George Cheyne - Assistant Operations Manager - Stena Drilling Ltd

George Cheyne

George began his career in the oil industry in 1978, a time served diesel mechanic, started offshore as a motorman working via agency until full time employment came along in 1979 with Jebsens Drilling. He progressed to the drilling department where he served his time in drilling operations working for Reading and Bates, Global Marine Drilling Company, Dolphin Drilling and presently Stena Drilling UK Ltd.

He progressed through the drilling ranks to Rig Superintendent. In 1996 he took up the position as Rig Manager with Global Marine and spent some time in Aberdeen and the Gulf of Mexico managing his first deep-water unit for the BP Troika Field development while living in Houston. He was reassigned back to the Aberdeen in 1998 where he continued his role as Rig Manager.

In 2004 George transferred his career back to offshore as Senior Toolpusher with Dolphin Drilling then joined Stena Drilling in 2007 where he held a post in the project team working on Stena’s new harsh environment drillship build programme in South Korea. He transferred to operations during vessel start up West of Shetland in late 2008 and spent further time working in deep-water operations in the Eastern Canada Orphin and Laurentian Basins. He has been instrumental in developing and implementing many of Stena’s deep-water procedures both operationally and in well control.

He accepted the role as Rig Manager with Stena Drilling in September 2012 managing one of their harsh environment deep-water drillships working off west of Shetland. He has been assigned as Assistant Operations Manager for Stena based in Aberdeen since January 2013 where he currently assists in managing four deep-water drillships and three semisubmersible rigs that cover Stena’s worldwide operations.

He holds a NEEBOSH certificate and during his 35 years in the industry has witnessed many changes in safety during that time. In 1998 he took an interest in the Step Change in Safety newly born Dropped Object Campaign, representing Global Marine he took an active role in his company promoting the campaign with successful results. He also represented his company in the IADC NSC Well Control Forum.

A passionate safety manager, George has an active role in ensuring his workforce are attuned to well control awareness and training post Macondo and has recently initiated the Workforce Engagement surveys on his rigs not just in the North Sea but worldwide where his goal is to attain full engagement in his pursuit of incident free operations.

Donald Macfarlane - QHSE Manager - Archer UK

Donald Macfarlane

Donald has worked in Quality, Health, Safety and Environment positions over the past twenty years in the Oil and Gas Industry. He currently has taken up the position of QHSE Manager, UK with Archer and is responsible for a small team of QHSE Advisors. The work involves working with Rig Managers that oversee Eighteen Platform operations in the UKCS.

In previous roles, Donald has worked offshore on an infrequent basis but with focus on training rig crews in the hazards surrounding the handling and mixing of drilling fluids. He also conducted occupational health monitoring of drilling fluids and mixing systems with MI Drilling Fluids in the Ninian Field.

Donald is also the immediate past chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) North East of Scotland Branch and is a current committee member of the IOSH Offshore Group.

Updated 2015-09-09