NOPSA’s second Offshore Health and Safety Performance Report provides a valuable overview of the OHS performance of Australia’s offshore petroleum industry for the period from 2005 to June 2010.
Speaking at the 2010 APPEA National Oil and Gas Safety Conference, NOPSA CEO, Jane Cutler, said that with the expansion of the Australian offshore oil and gas industry, especially in Western Australia, the need to monitor its health and safety performance is a constant imperative.
“The health and safety of workers on offshore facilities is the prime responsibility of industry Operators and NOPSA is charged with regulating those Operators to ensure strict compliance,” she said.
“Encouragingly, industry data in the Performance Report points to a decline in the Accident rate since 2008, which is good to see, especially given the growth in the number of offshore facilities. “But that improvement is tempered by incidents of hydrocarbon gas releases reported by industry Operators, showing an increase in frequency up to June 2010.”
Ms Cutler said that the increase comes after hydrocarbon gas releases had reduced in number slightly in the 2008-2009 reporting period. “Gas releases remain a serious concern because they’re a key indicator of the potential
for what we call a ‘Major Accident Event’,” she said.
NOPSA will use the incident data in the Offshore Health and Safety Performance Report to enhance its targeted inspections of offshore facilities over the coming period.
“Industry must rise to the challenge of improving safety outcomes. It’s important to remember that the principal duty of care for the safe operation of a facility rests with its Operator. The prime responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of workers in the offshore petroleum industry rests with those who create the risks.”
As the industry health and safety regulator, NOPSA’s role is to provide independent and robust challenge to Operators through rigorous ‘Safety Case’ assessment, thorough planned inspections of facilities and objective investigation of incidents.