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The Cullen Inquiry released its findings and 106 recommendations on the Piper Alpha disaster in 1990. It found that safety regulations in existence at the time were anemic, poorly enforced with an understaffed department, and at a conflict of interest, since the same British government department for rig safety also oversaw production. At the time, there were 5 inspectors to oversee the entire North Sea; each rig was visited once every 2 years.

The government brought in the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations, putting the onus on companies to prove safety measures for every offshore platform. Paperwork guidelines were instituted to ensure smooth and complete communication of maintenance and work schedules and progress.

Pipeline safety valve designs were relocated, and undersea pipes isolated, to prevent further accidents. Formal Safety Assessments were written by North Sea companies, and over £1 billion was invested to improve rig safety.

The Cullen report criticized poor management training practices in safety and crisis management. The company was singled out for poor safety training, and a lax attitude towards the safety and condition of workers and equipment.

Regular inspections and audits of platforms was increased after this incident. The overall frequency of lost-time incidents in the North Sea declined from 3.5 per million in 1997 to 1.5 per million in 2005 because of these changes.

Offshore platforms present little refuge from fire. Regulations were changed to require fortified refuge points, improved access to firefighting, lifeboat, and survival gear, and numerous egress points to get off the rig.

The Piper Alpha disaster highlighted many shortcomings of offshore oil rig design and safety. All the Cullen report recommendations were accepted and acted upon.