Posts Tagged ‘NOPSEMA’

  • Date: 3-4 Oct 2023
  • Location: Perth, Australia
  • Announcement

IRF conferences present an excellent opportunity for dialogue among regulators, operators, trade organizations, contractors, academics, and other interested parties.

Some suggested agenda topics for the Perth conference:

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After 8 outstanding years with Australia’s offshore safety and environmental regulator, Stuart Smith has announced that he will be departing NOPSEMA in September. Stuart was a highly effective CEO and an important contributor to international offshore safety initiatives. Best wishes to Stuart!

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Industry environment plans

Good read for you inspection and regulatory policy nerds. (I know you’re out there! 😃). The draft policy looks very good at first glance.

If (like me) you can’t help yourself, here is the link for providing feedback.

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Continuous improvement has to be the primary objective of offshore safety leaders, and this independent blog is committed to recognizing initiatives that further reduce safety and environmental risks. Australia’s collaborative mental survey project is an interesting such initiative in its early stages. Two other important initiatives are noted below.

BSEE’s Dropped Object Risk-Based Inspection initiative: As has been the case for 50 years, most offshore fatalities and serious injuries are associated with falls or falling and moving objects/equipment. BSEE’s Dropped Objects initiative, as described in a presentation by Jason Mathews during a recent Center for Offshore Safety (COS) webinar is intended to draw further attention to and better manage these risks. In addition to BSEE’s focused inspections, the “Good Practices” being followed by some operators and contractors, as described on pages 40-50 of the presentation, are encouraging. These types of initiatives are necessary if we are to achieve the elusive “zero fatality” year on the US OCS.

IOGP process safety guidance, Report 456 v.2 : Contrary to some post-Macondo narratives, process safety and well control were always the primary focus of the US OCS regulatory program. In 1974, my boss Richard Krahl (known as “Mr. OCS” for his commitment to offshore safety) dropped a copy of the first edition of API RP 14C (Analysis, Design, Installation, and Testing of Safety Systems for Offshore Production Facilities) on my desk and told me it was an excellent document that I should read. RP 14 C and other process safety standards were incorporated into the USGS OCS Orders (regulations) in the 1970’s. For decades, the USGS and MMS were leaders in well control and production safety research and training. That said, better indicators and improved approaches to offshore facility process safety were needed, and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers report has provided an excellent framework. Report 456 is comprehensive and technically sound, and provides excellent guidance and examples. Very well done!

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Following the Piper Alpha tragedy (1988) and the Exxon Valdez spill (1989), the Minerals Management Service, under the direction of Dr. Charles Smith, embarked on new research to address the human and organizational factors that are fundamental to offshore safety. An important 1993 report, MMS project 167, Management of Human Error in Operation of Marine Systems by Robert Bea and William Moore, observed that:

High consequence accidents resulted from a multiplicity of compounding sequences of breakdowns in the human, organization, and system; often there are precursors or early-warning indications of the breakdowns that are not recognized or are ignored.” The human element is complex and “states” such as “fatigue, negligence, ignorance, greed, folly, wishful thinking, mischief, laziness, excessive use of drugs, bad judgement, carelessness, physical limitations, boredom, and inadequate.” Environmental factors such as weather conditions, time of day, smoke, and noise further complicate human performance.

Bea and Moore, 1993

COVID 19 has further complicated human performance and facility management. In an effort to better understand human factors during COVID, NOPSEMA (the Australian offshore safety regulator) has partnered with industry, and labor organizations, and universities to survey offshore workers.

Per the survey announcement:

Your unique insight on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on members of the offshore workforce are vital to informing industry and the development of strategies that best support employee mental health and well-being.

BOE is looking forward to learning about the results of this survey and other efforts to better assess and understand mental health challenges facing offshore workers. The effective integration of mental health considerations into management systems is critical to safety achievement.

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