A government adviser, an explorer, an HSE executive and a process engineer are the keynote speakers for this year’s OPITO Safety and Competence Conference – OSCC 2015. They will be joined on the panel by oil and gas industry leaders to explore the topic of “The Economics of Safety at $60 Oil”.

Business mentor and advisor to The Cabinet Office - Andrew Garner, explorer and entrepreneur - Kevin Gaskell, process engineer - Paul Mahoney and HSE deputy chief executive - Kevin Myers are set to take to the stage at the world’s only global event entirely focused on safety and competency in the oil and gas industry.

Now in its sixth year, OSCC 2015 will take place on 3 November 2015 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Abu Dhabi. It will bring together around 500 industry, government and training provider executives to explore how the industry maintains competence and continues to keep its people safe in a lower oil price environment.

David Doig, group chief executive for OPITO said: “We are thrilled to have secured our strongest line up of speakers to date. All four of have very inspirational stories to tell and have experienced a number of challenges to get where they are today.

“As training and development budgets come under treat following the sharp decline in oil prices, we will look at how to avoid the long-term damage of short-term measures, along with the need for greater competence levels to enhance production operations.

“There is a lot to be gained and applied from sharing experiences with those from outwith our sector and the OSCC has a track record of providing speakers from other sectors to share and learn about new thinking in relation to safety.

Mr Garner is a globally renowned speaker on career management, change and innovation, sustainability and the environment. He is mentor to several high profile CEO’s across Europe, Asia and the USA. After an early career in marketing rising fast through the Mars Corporation, he held a number of director roles with Brooke Bond and Gallaher, before joining executive search pioneers, Boyden as chairman and CEO, where he helped the company expand into 40 countries. Most recently, he was elected to become an advisor to The UK Cabinet Office.

Explorer, sportsman, entrepreneur and professional speaker, Mr Gaskell has been CEO of three iconic car brands, Porsche, Lamborghini and BMW. He innovates for businesses, improving growth and encouraging turnaround by relating tales of leadership and teamwork to motivate audiences. A qualified engineer and accountant, Mr Gaskell joined Porsche GB in 1987 and four years later became managing director. On the brink of bankruptcy, he turned around the fortunes of the business and in less than five years it was the UK's most profitable car company. Kevin was subsequently recognised as 'One of the top 40 managers under 40 in the UK’.

Mr Mahoney worked as a process engineer at the Recycled Fibre Plant in Kemsley near Sittingbourne, where in 2000, he was involved in a major incident involving his left arm.

His raw and powerful story acts as a reminder of the fundamental significance for safety, clear communication, procedures and good practice in any organisation. His accident, which had a major impact on him, his family and colleagues, highlights the cost of complacency and he travels across Europe, sharing his story to prevent complacency, particularly in times of cost-cutting. .

Mr Myers joined HSE in 1976 as a trainee factory inspector. Following a range of operational posts in the field in London, East Anglia and the South West, Kevin transferred he became director of HSE's Hazardous Installations Directorate, with responsibility for HSE's regulation of various 'major hazard' sectors including the onshore chemical industry and offshore oil and gas sector. In October 2008 he was appointed HSE's deputy chief executive and was awarded a CBE for services to occupational safety and health in the 2015 Honours list.

Around 500 delegates from 30 countries and 20 exhibitors are expected at OSCC 2015 where leaders from the oil and gas supply chain and world-renowned experts will participate in keynote sessions and panel debates.

International training standards body, OPITO, devised the event as part of its drive for common global standards across the oil and gas industry to improve safety and competence.

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