Analysis of helicopter accidents is fundamental to the development of effective mitigation measures. However, there are significant weaknesses in the current methods. This paper proposes a new structured framework for the analysis of accidents in helicopter operations, which includes the determination of the appropriate timeframe for analysis, establishment of terminological definitions, identification of the relevant accident variables and data sources, and the execution of a three-fold statistical analysis strategy. It is implemented in the context of worldwide offshore helicopter operations, enabling the identification of a number of areas for priority intervention including the need for a global harmonisation of accident data capture and dissemination, causal factor-based metrics for the calculation of accident rates, better pilot support for night-time and arrival operations, and a new safety paradigm to mitigate rare accidents. The framework is recommended for the analysis of helicopter accidents and incidents to support safety improvement.