East Lancashire firefighter's mission to save lives in Asian oil industry
A RETIRED East Lancashire specialist firefighter is heading to a central Asian republic to help safeguard high-risk workers.
Blackburn College lecturer Andy Barnes, who was a firefighter for 33 years, is heading to Khazakhstan to make the oil industry a safer workplace.
Andy has also been a member of the UK International Search and Rescue Team for 20 years.
He has helped out at international incidents around the world, such as the Haiti earthquake, and the South East Asia tsunami disaster. Andy was watch manager at Blackburn Fire Station before he retired and began teaching a foundation degree for fire and rescue management, three years ago.
He said he was now looking forward to taking on a new challenge.
Oil workers in Khazakhstan have one of the highest-risk jobs in the world.
Andy will be using his expertise to ensure workers have safe escape routes should the worst happen, and will also implement policies to create safer working.
He said: “It’s an incredibly high-risk industry and my role will be to assess the potential for industrial accidents. Given the very nature of crude oil, there’s a high level of explosive gas contained within it.
“The major risk is the controlled release of that gas. We also need to predict the risk of fire “It will be an interesting challenge, and a new experience. There will be lots of Brits, and lots of other nationalities too. One problem will be a language barrier, but there are ways around that.”