Seeing danger: Safety on an offshore oil and gas platform
Oil and gas (O&G) production platforms are intrinsically risky environments. They are also highly visual and sensory environments. To manage hazards associated with North Sea O&G extraction operations, organisations responsible expend time and effort to ensure the workers’ safety. This article shows how construction workers see and make sense of safety and danger. The setting is an ageing O&G production platform in the North Sea undergoing extensive upgrade. In this rich sensory environment, workers interact with safety by colour, local interpretation, and demarcation of habitats and areas. The nature of the North Sea construction environment demands that they also bodily recognise their own activities as embedded in a larger, dynamically changing workplace where safety is locally produced. In this workplace, safety knowledge is achieved through the platform workers deliberately constructing the environment, outside formal safety guidelines.