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Delegates at Offshore Europe urged not to neglect workers’ mental health

Health & Safety

The North Sea chapter of the International Association of Drilling contractors, which is leading the drive to improve mental health in the North Sea energy sector, has urged delegates to ensure worker wellbeing receives the attention it deserves at the Offshore Europe conference and exhibition in Aberdeen

The conference takes place following the launch of the industry-wide Mental Health and Well-being Charter, which was drafted following consultation with almost 200 people from operators, contractors, mental health professionals and third sector organisations.

Darren Sutherland, chair of the North Sea Chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors said companies need to ensure personnel are not forgotten about.

“While the tools on display will be able to help drive the energy sector forward, they depend on the human capital that drives the industry. That is why it is critical we maintain the momentum already gathered in our commitment to ensure the physical and mental well-being of everyone involved in the industry.

“It’s an issue so important a special taskforce has been set-up, and we are determined to make a difference to the men and women – and their families – at the head of our industry. The sector would be at a loss without the talent the North Sea possesses, and it is critical we do our best to support their mental health and wellbeing.

“We know there is an appetite for changing how we approach mental health, something that was illustrated by the hundreds of people that attended our event to launch this campaign.”

Companies including Aker Solutions, Expro, Ithaca Energy, Proserv and Borr Drilling have all pledged to support the movement, which was launched in an effort to drive cultural change in how the energy sector approaches mental health.

Sutherland added, “We want companies to sign up to the Charter, not because they think they should, but because they want to make a difference to the industry. There is a positive return on this investment for firms that sign up, adopt and embrace the challenge of tackling poor mental health.

“Enhanced mental health can lead to more productivity among staff, fewer days off and a happier environment to work in. Above all else, it can help save lives.”

The development of the 10-point charter follows the publication of a report from the IADC – Changing Minds: Saving Lives – which urged a new approach to mental health in the North Sea.

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