OFFSHORE workers still fear reporting safety issues almost 30 years after Piper Alpha, according to the man who chaired the enquiry into the disaster.

Judge Lord Cullen said workers in the oil and gas sector worry they will be blacklisting if they take safety concerns to bosses.

The comments came as the industry launched a new guide aimed at preventing a repeat of the tragedy, which cost 167 lives in July 1988.

Just 61 offshore workers survived the explosion and blaze on the platform off the north-east coast.

The new 10-volume guide, entitled Encompassing the Future: Offshore Oil and Gas Operations, brings together 40 years of knowledge gleaned from environmental, health and safety and performance management.

Cullen, who welcomed the guide, said “painful lessons” were learned from the “tragic events”. The inquiry he chaired into what went wrong in 1988 lasted 13 months and helped bring major changes in health and safety for offshore workers.

However, he said many still fear that flagging up concerns to managers will receive negative comeback, such as blacklisting.

Cullen said: “It’s been a repeated worry from time to time.

“What I hear are reassuring messages, but I cannot say that there are not instances of ‘Not Wanted’, but I hope it’s not happening anymore.”

Cullen, who helped launch the new report in Aberdeen yesterday, added: “Painful lessons were learnt from the tragic events on July 6, 1988. These lessons, like so many others in the industry, must never be forgotten.

“They should be used to ensure the safety of the people who work in it, the protection of the environment and the overall economic health and sustainability of offshore operations.

“The 10 volumes of this resource will be an essential knowledge bank to pass on lessons learnt to the next generation, making sure that the industry retains the full benefit of years of expertise and experience.”

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The oil and gas industry makes a huge contribution to the Scottish economy, and will continue to do so for decades to come.

“Ensuring that the highest safety standards are applied across the industry is, of course, a key priority for all of us, and it is also essential to North Sea sustainability in the long run.

“This repository should represent the gold standard for health and safety, and environmental management – not just for Scotland, but for the rest of the world.

“The Scottish Government, along with academia and industry partners, is very happy to have been able to help fund the repository and we strongly support it.”