The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has advised operators of offshore oil and gas facilities to have contingency plans in place for managing all infectious diseases following COVID-19.
The regulator stated in a recent release that it has a significant role in ensuring compliance with these plans to help protect and support the offshore workforce from news risks associated with the virus.
Following this, NOPSEMA surveyed all facility operators to establish what they were doing to manage the health of offshore workers, resulting in the risk reduction measures used by some facility operators being identified as more effective if applied across the industry.
NOPSEMA chief executive officer Stuart Smith said the regulator can add value through its ability to exchange information and experiences with the industry to protect the workforce.
“Information is being gathered through document reviews and online inspection meetings, where offshore oil and gas companies respond to questions, with their answers discussed and clarified as needed,” Smith said.
NOPSEMA has released a COVID-19 compliance strategy, documenting measures for effectively regulating the offshore industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The strategy explains how NOPSEMA is acting to support industry during the virus in its production of essential energy supplies, while overseeing industry management of health, safety and environmental risks.
Following the commencement of the strategy at the end of March, NOPSEMA inspected all operators and provided feedback within 24 hours.
The inspections were following by phone calls to the operator’s senior management to ensure the learnings were being reached and applied.
“In all cases, these senior managers welcomed the inspection findings and the opportunities to improve their systems,” NOPSEMA outlined in its release.