There’s a big difference between being trained and being competent.

Not to put too fine a point on it, much of our health and safety legislation is written in blood and evolved because it had to. MRS Training & Rescue is rooted in the mining sector where, historically, people often lost their lives before things changed. Indeed, it was the Knockshinnoch disaster in Ayrshire in 1950, amongst others, which led to mines rescue having escape breathing apparatus available to be used by miners in an emergency.

It is a sobering reminder that, even although confined space legislation was introduced a quarter of a century ago, tragically about a dozen people still lose their lives each year.

In my opinion, the most fitting tribute we can pay to those lost is to use the lessons of the past to improve the future, including when exploring new and growing markets, such as decommissioning and opportunities in energy transition. Now more than ever, employers must ensure that personnel lie at the heart of energy transition aspirations and that means arming them with transferrable skills which are correctly recognised and regulated.

The speed of the corporate journey and market entry often play a part in dictating what training may be selected. On the one hand is awareness-raising and on the other may be a fully accredited opportunity in line with nationally recognised standards. The latter puts a member of staff in the best possible position by providing a direct opportunity for them to learn and test their new-found skills in a safe and controlled environment.

It's important to remember that the principles of keeping people safe remain the same regardless of sector. The differences lie in how you keep them safe according to the industry they are working in – and whether they’re trained or competent.

For more information about MRS Training & Rescue’s centre in Aberdeen visit: