Work to improve safety in the UK oil and gas industry requires collaboration. The collective input of contractors, operators, trade unions, regulators and the workforce plays a pivotal role in shaping best-practice guidelines. Step Change in Safety aims to make the UK the safest oil province in the world to work in, and helping us to achieve that is our leadership team.
Step Change in Safety’s leadership team is responsible for planning and monitoring the organisation’s activities, and listening to the opinions and concerns of the workforce. This process helps to shape the future direction of the organisation to ensure it is always well placed to lead the way in improving offshore safety.
Made up of senior personnel from member companies, industry-related trade associations, trade unions and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the Step Change in Safety leadership team currently consists of:
- Craig Wiggins
- Executive Director
- Step Change in Safety
Craig Wiggins has nearly 40 years of experience in the energy industry. He has vast knowledge and experiences from front line operations to the board room. He is passionate about simplification and efficiency of processes due to strong experiences in lean manufacturing and is focused on making sure the people in the front line have the highest safety standards.
Craig started his career in 1985 as a Trainee Operations Technician and spent next 25 years at Shell in a variety of Operations and Business Improvement roles such as Offshore Installation Manger and finally as the St Fergus Gas Plant Manager.
Craig has also held senior operations leadership positions with Petrofac and BP. He joined Aker Solutions in 2015 as the Managing Director of their UK Maintenance, Modification and Operations Business which then developed into leading that business in the Middle East and Africa. In 2018 Craig became the Head of Health, Safety, Security and the Environment for Aker Solution’s global operations.
In 2022, Craig joined NEO Energy as their HSE & ESG Director.
Craig joined Step Change in Safety in October 2023 as Executive Director.
Craig has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
- Gillian Urquhart
- Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
- BP Exploration
As Regional HSE & Carbon Manager for bp North Sea Gillian is part of the Business Leadership Team accountable for the delivery of HSE& Carbon activities across the business, supporting safe, compliant and reliable operations. Prior to joining bp, Gillian was head of Safety and Sustainability for Equinor in the UK working to establish Equinor’s first UK operatorship and overseeing Equinor UK’s low carbon and renewable activities.
Gillian spent 11 years working for the UK regulator (HSE) in a variety of roles including front line inspector for a wide range of high hazard industries including construction, nuclear and oil and gas. Working across these industries Gillian gained extensive knowledge and insight of safety management practices and experienced first-hand the impact incidents can have on people and their families. This has created a real drive and passion to improve and sustain high standards of safety.
Gillian has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science degree in medical and radiation physics from the University of Aberdeen. Gillian is a chartered member of the Society of Radiation Protection and Institute of Physics, a STEM ambassador and an advocate for women in physics.
- Derek Mitchell
- Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
- Global E & C
- Bob Egan
- Workforce Engagement Specialist
- Health and Safety Executive
Bob Egan – a former safety rep of the year – was appointed to the role of Workforce Engagement Specialist within the Health and Safety Executive’s Energy Division in 2019.
His appointment followed a four-year secondment from global oilfield services company, Petrofac, as the HSE’s Head of Workforce Engagement where Bob worked alongside HSE Inspectors to help improve the link between the HSE and the on and offshore workforce.
Within the newly-created Workforce Engagement Specialist position, Bob focusses on workforce involvement in the Safety Cases for assets. He is also developing a guide on good practise which will comply with the workforce involvement section of corporate major accident prevention policies (CMAPPs) and will be continuing to make sure safety reps have everything they need to carry out their roles effectively and in full compliance with the regulations.
Dundee-born Bob has worked in the offshore oil and gas industry since 1992. Prior to that, he worked in the petrochemical and construction industries. His offshore career began as a pipefitter and has worked for the majority of contracting companies in the UKCS. Latterly, he was Petrofac Trade foreman, shutdown co-ordinator and Elected Safety Rep (ESR) on Maersk Oil’s GP3 FPSO.
As an ESR for over seven years, Bob won the ‘Safety Representative of the Year’ title at the 2014 Offshore Safety Awards and was praised for being “a role model for safety leadership… who earned the unwavering respect of his peers, constituents and managers.”
- Nicola Fry
- Assurance Director
Nicola Fry is the Assurance Director for UK, Norway, Central Asia and Eastern Europe for Worley. With a career spanning over 30 years, across a number of different sectors; renewables, major Infrastructure construction as well as oil and gas, both in the UK and Overseas, Nicola has a proven track record of implementing successful HSEQ and transformational change management strategies as well as being involved in the delivery of complex, high quality projects and strategies. Prior to joining Worley, she was HSEQ Director on Europe’s largest Infrastructure Project, HS2
- Steve Hunt
- Regional Director, UK
- Stork Technical Services
With a career operating around the globe in the nuclear, thermal, petro-chemical, process, industrial and manufacturing industries spanning nearly 40 years, Steve has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Steve started his career path on the tools by undergoing an ECITB Engineering Apprenticeship, with a global leader in advanced energy and environmental technologies. Steve progressed rapidly through increasingly senior management roles to senior executive level positions, with a number of major energy companies both within the UK and internationally.
Steve graduated from Dudley and Reid Kerr Technical Colleges, as well as The Welding Institute in Cambridge. Furthermore, he attended Cranfield University where he studied Project Management.
In his current role, Steve is responsible for overseeing Stork’s strategic business growth into new and existing markets, operational excellence and outstanding HSEQ performance in the UK.
- Girish Kabra
- Director Operated Assets (North Sea -UK & NL)
- Spirit Energy
Girish Kabra has over 20 years’ experience in upstream oil and gas, and LNG businesses, working for variety of operating companies including Spirit Energy, Centrica, BG Group and Shell. He has worked in multiple geographies including Australia, India, Malaysia, Middle East, The Netherlands and the UK, holding various management and leadership positions in operations and capital projects. He has experience in the full lifecycle oil & gas asset management, from opportunity through to decommissioning.
In his current role as the North Sea Operated Assets Director for Spirit Energy, Girish is responsible for all asset management activities for its UK and the Netherlands operated assets which includes a mix of fully manned platforms, NUIs, NPAIs, FPSO and subsea tie backs. From 2016 to 2018, Girish was the Decommissioning Director at Spirit Energy, during which time he successfully established their decommissioning business unit. Over years, he has managed complex operations and project programs and built various high performing teams.
Girish has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Twente, The Netherlands and an MBA from QUT Brisbane, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of Association of Project Management. Girish received the Mentor of the year award from Oil & Gas UK in 2016 for his commitment to developing the future pipeline of talent for the industry.
- Rob Maxwell
- JV Asset Manager
- Shell UK Ltd
Rob is part of the Shell UK Leadership Team and is accountable for managing Shell UK’s Decommissioning Portfolio and regulatory obligations, including the flagship Brent field. Prior to this, Robert was based in Denmark as the JV Asset Manager accountable for representing Shell’s 36.8% majority interest in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) through to divestment of the business in July 2019.
An Operations professional by function, Robert was the Asset Operations Manager in Queensland Gas Co. from 2016-2018, a Shell Operated JV in Australia’s Integrated Gas business. In this role, Robert was accountable for the safety, reputation and business performance of the upstream operating asset which today constitutes delivery of >100 mmboe/yr gross volumes from ca. 3000 wells and more than 30 gas compression and processing facilities to service both domestic and LNG export contractual obligations.
Robert joined Shell through the Shell-BG merger in February 2016. Prior to joining QGC, Robert worked as Business Advisor to both the BG CEO and EVP Technical over a three-year period.
A Chemical engineer by degree, Robert’s early career focused on building core technical capability spanning numerous frontline engineering, production and project orientated roles in the UK and North Africa.
- Matt Rhodes
- Director UK & Turkmenistan Oil and Gas
Matt Rhodes is responsible for all of Bristow’s UK-registered helicopter operations including engineering, both flight and ground operations, safety, compliance, and commercial activity.
After an RAF Sixth form and flying scholarship, Matt completed his PPL at the age of 17 and immediately joined Bristow Helicopters as a cadet. He then spent 8 years as a co-pilot operating out of Aberdeen, Scatsta, Den-Helder and occasionally offshore.
Matt has since risen through the ranks within the company and has held the role of Chief Pilot for Bristow’s Aberdeen operations; Area Manager for UK oil and gas operations; and focal point for European pilot recruitment as Offshore Flight Operations Manager/ Deputy Head of Flight Operations.
He was appointed Area Manager for UK Oil and Gas operations in 2014, before taking on the role of Director UK & Turkmenistan Oil and Gas in 2017.
- Mark Wilson
- HSE Director
Mark Wilson is the Health, Safety, Environment Director, including aviation, for Offshore Energies UK and supports HSE arrangements for the UK continental shelf offshore assets.
The first part of Mark’s career was in the British Army as a Mechanical Engineer. Upon leaving the military Mark moved into the energy industry in predominantly operational HSE roles with ConocoPhillips and EnQuest where he worked both on and offshore.
Mark’s current role also includes OEUK Resilience Support Group lead focussing on both COVID-19 and security of supply aspects in relation to the Ukraine crisis.
Mark holds an MBA and is a Chartered Engineer.
- Mhairi Finnie
- HSE Director
- Total Energies
Mhairi is currently HSE Director at TotalEnergies E&P UK Limited and VP for HSE in the UK
Mhairi started her career in 1998 working for BPB Paperboard Davidson Mill in Aberdeen. She joined TotalEnergies in 2004 as an Environmental Advisor working on Laggan pre-project and MCP_01 decommissioning. In 2008 Mhairi took a bit of a career change and moved into operational safety where she’s held a number of roles spending time onshore and offshore before being appointed as HSE Director on 1st June 2022.
Mhairi Finnie is a graduate of Robert Gordons University (BSc in Environmental Science and Technology) and Derby University (MSc in Environmental Management)
- Mark Piggott
- Vice President UK Operations, Aker Solutions Ltd
- Aker Solutions
As Vice President UK Operations and on the Board of Directors for Aker Solutions Ltd, Mark is part of the UK Leadership Team accountable for the delivery of the Life Cycle segment activities across the UK and Africa. Prior to this role, he was the Head of Engineering and Construction responsible for all E&C activities across the company`s UK portfolio.
Mark’s career spans over 26 years where he started his career as a trainee Electrical & Instrumentation Designer, progressing through the discipline grades to become the Technical Authority and Discipline Manager. Working on a variety of projects and contracts has given him the opportunity to work overseas including in Kazakhstan and Singapore.
Mark has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronic and Electrical Systems from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. He is both a Chartered Engineer (Institute of Engineering and Technology) and a Chartered Manager (Chartered Managers Institute). In addition, Mark has also gained a Functional Safety Engineer (FSEng) qualification with TÜV Rheinland.
In addition to being a member of the Step Change in Safety Leadership Team, Mark was also recently appointed as a member of the Offshore Europe Executive Committee.
- Graeme Christie
- QHSE Manager – Europe Africa, Borr Drilling
- BORR Drilling
Graeme currently works as the QHSE Manager for Borr Drilling overseeing the Europe-Africa region and represents the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) North Sea Chapter on the SCIS Leadership Team.
Graeme joined the Army straight from school then spent 20 years in the Fire Service initially as a Firefighter then a Manager. A career change in 2014 took him into the Oil and Gas industry and he has worked in a variety of roles including a Safety Officer on an accommodation vessel in the UK and overseas as well as Operational HSE roles with Total and other contracting companies.
- Samantha Peace
- Director of Energy Division
- Health and Safety Executive
Samantha Peace joined the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 1995 as a Factory Inspector in London and the East dealing with a wide range of industry sectors including manufacturing, fairgrounds, ports, later moving to HSE’s Southern area with responsibility for operational policy and international standards development in the printing and paper industries.
Samantha moved to the Midlands in 2002, regulating the construction industry, obtained a Masters in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Law, and has since held a number of senior, managerial and leadership operational delivery posts.
Samantha was promoted to the Senior Civil Service in 2013 and in May 2016 took over as the Director of Field Operations.
In July 2023 Samantha took up the role of Director of Energy Division regulating high hazard industries including oil and gas installations and pipelines on and offshore, wind and marine renewable energies, mines, quarries and diving.
Samantha is an executive member of the International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI) with experience in conducting international assessment of labour inspection systems.
- Gatsbyd Forsyth
- North Sea HSES SVP
- Harbour Energy
Gatsbyd Forsyth is the Senior Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Security (HSES) for Harbour Energy’s operated asset portfolio in the North Sea. In this role, she is accountable for leading and delivering the company’s HSES culture and performance, and for its energy and emissions reduction strategy across the UK Continental Shelf.
A member of Harbour Energy’s North Sea senior leadership team, Gatsbyd brings over 28 years of experience in the energy sector to her role, having worked in the both the North Sea, and overseas. Working on oil and gas on- and offshore installations for a variety of operators, she has built extensive experience spanning the full asset lifecycle, including subsurface, commercial, operations and, latterly, HSES.
Gatsbyd holds a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering and two master’s degrees. She is committed to using her safety expertise and organisational leadership skills to drive best-in-class performance at Harbour Energy, and across the oil and gas industry more broadly.
Prior to her appointment as HSES Senior VP for Harbour Energy’s North Sea business, Gatsbyd held a variety of senior roles, including VP for the J-Area Hub, with responsibility for managing on- and offshore operations, and Joint Venture Manager for the Beryl Area and the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) Terminal at St Fergus.
Gatsbyd is also the executive sponsor of Harbour Energy’s STEM Ambassadors’ Network, which aims to inspire the next generation and encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and maths amongst primary and secondary school pupils.