UK offshore safety inspectors are inspecting North Sea installations to make sure the ageing infrastructure does not compromise safety.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is carrying out a new programme of inspections and will visit the installations to check safety management plans and ensure that rig standards are maintained.

HSE head of offshore safety Steve Walker said the ageing offshore installations run the risk of deterioration, which can have serious consequences for installation and asset integrity.

“This is not acceptable,” Walker said. “The safety of 28,000 workers is dependent on systems and structures being in good working now and in the future.”

He added that unions and industry are supporting the inspection programme to ensure the long-term future of the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

The rig inspections will run until September 2013.