The offshore workers' union wants an overhaul of WorkSafe WA after it declined to prosecute for a 2021 Santos platform incident.

The union has criticised WorkSafe WA for its decision not to prosecute any parties involved in a 2021 decommissioning incident on the Santos Sinbad platform. 

The incident occurred off the Pilbara coast near Varanus Island, approximately 1,200 kilometres north of Perth. 

Several workers narrowly avoided serious injury when the topside of the platform, rigged to a crane on a vessel, detached unexpectedly and swung over them. 

The crane operator manoeuvred the topside away from the workers and lowered it into the water. The workers, who had been cutting through the platform's main leg, were unharmed and were evacuated to a designated safety vessel.

A video of the incident, showing the out-of-control platform attached to the crane, went viral on social media.

The decommissioning involved several companies: Santos-contracted Dutch company Fugro, Swiss-based Allseas which provided the crane-equipped vessel, and rope-access technicians from AusGroup, a then-Singapore-listed company.

Despite the potential danger of the incident, WorkSafe WA has decided not to pursue legal action. 

In a statement, the safety authority cited the lack of injuries, the elapsed time since the incident, and the potential costs of prosecution as reasons for their decision. 

WorkSafe WA also noted that work health and safety laws and penalties have been modernised since the incident. 

The Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DEMIRS) released a four-page incident report detailing the findings. The potential $100,000 penalty was deemed disproportionate given the cost and time that would be required for prosecution.

However, the Offshore Alliance union has criticised the decision, saying it effectively allows companies to avoid accountability by stalling for time. 

While no physical injuries were reported, the union says that the psychological impact on workers was significant. 

The Offshore Alliance says it is grounds for a comprehensive reform of WorkSafe WA, arguing that the safety authority needs to be rebuilt from top to bottom to ensure proper accountability and safety standards in the industry.