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The research was launched at an event on 1 September at RGU. Hosted by Jeremy Cresswell, editor of the Press and Journal's ENERGY supplement and honorary Professor at RGU's Aberdeen Business School, the evening commenced with a presentation of the report's findings by Professor Rita Marcella. An audience of over 90 industry professionals observed a panel discussion. The members of the panel included Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, Brian Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, KCA DEUTAG, Robin Davies, Vice President of Integration and Business Improvement, Subsea7, John Pearson, Managing Director of AMEC Natural Resources Europe and West Africa, and AVEVA's H&S expert, Global Principal Consultant, Clive Wilby.Early in 2011, AVEVA commissioned an independent research project from Robert Gordon University (RGU). The project was conducted by Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of RGU's Aberdeen Business School, and Tracy Pirie, Research Assistant. The objective was to better understand the Health & Safety (H&S) issues that our customers and our industry struggle with on a daily basis. The report would also provide a detailed and authoritative picture of how organisations manage H&S information, and how current practices affect both day-to-day plant operation and the handling of emergencies.The Health & Safety Information GapThrough an online questionnaire, RGU's research gathered information from H&S managers, senior managers and engineers in the global oil & gas industry. Respondents' business types included operating companies, contractors, service companies and suppliers. In addition, confidential in-depth Critical Incident case studies covered four representative businesses, interviewing key individuals who could comment authoritatively on the information aspects of dealing with the incidents.The report, entitled 'The Health & Safety Information Gap', indicates that information systems are fragmented and inconsistent. Over 30% of industry professionals surveyed had never had training in accessing safety information, while 40% did not know how to search for it. Respondents were also working on a mixture of corporate, local and external information systems.Kate MagillCommunications Manager, AVEVA20AVEVA World Magazine 2012|Issue 1John Pearson, Managing Director, AMEC Natural Resources Europe and West Africa gives his Point of View on the research findings

Whereas internal channels such as Intranets and team meetings did offer access, respondents found that they often had to search the Internet for relevant information. Approximately half of respondents identified the need for better information systems and around a quarter believed that information was not being shared within the company environment. On the whole, there was a strong demand for a shared integrated system to enable better access to all appropriate information. This was supported by respondents' comments such as those below.z 'The problem is, there's too much information.'z 'I don't think the information systems that we're talking about are very user friendly.'z 'It was fragmented information and it was inconsistent.'In short, there is a major information gap in plant operations that impacts directly on Health & Safety. In response to the report, AVEVA has written a Point of View paper, identifying the three main areas where the greatest deficiencies can be found. These are:z fragmentation of informationz failure to capture and exploit the value of standardsz poor accessibility to data.The research will benefit customers by providing further input into AVEVA's strategy for Operational Integrity Management. Disconnected processes and 'silos' of information can create many problems that can increase operational risk. AVEVA can demonstrate to industry professionals just how powerful today's information management solutions can be in addressing these problems. AVEVA's information-centric solutions have been helping our customers create precisely the sort of 'information repository' strategy that was cited as a key requirement by a number of the survey respondents.Steve Tongish, VP Marketing, AVEVA, concludes, 'Improving information management plays a key role in meeting Health & Safety requirements for the oil & gas industry. We have been very impressed with the professional research produced by RGU and we are pleased that AVEVA has been able to contribute to this important industry debate.'The full report is available for download at, together with AVEVA's Point of View paper.'Improving information management plays a key role in meeting Health & Safety requirements for the oil & gas industry...'AVEVA World Magazine 2012|Issue 121Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of Aberdeen Business School presents the report findings