NOPSEMA has endorsed a new compliance strategy for effectively regulating the offshore industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They have also provided interim guidance to encourage consistent practice across industry. 

NOPSEMA recognises that COVID-19 presents significant challenges for industry and the broader public.  Therefore, they have released the COVID-19 Pandemic Compliance Strategy to clearly communicate their approach and to demonstrate they are addressing challenges in an agile and responsive way.

As outlined in the strategy, NOPSEMA will focus on the provision of advice, assistance and support to duty holders to ensure offshore energy activities can continue to be undertaken in a safe and responsible way.  In line with this approach, NOPSEMA recently sent a survey to offshore petroleum facility operators with a primary aim of gaining an assurance that the Australian offshore petroleum industry has systems in place, and has commenced implementing those arrangements, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  In the interests of sharing reasonably practicable measures, and to provide some interim guidance to industry to encourage consistent practice across industry, NOPSEMA have shared the survey, with examples of the better practices reported by industry.  The ultimate goal is to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19, and to limit opportunities for exposure among the offshore workforce.

Subsequently, NOPSEMA has progressively undertaken remote inspections relating to the COVID-19 control measures described in individual survey responses, using the survey questions as an inspection prompt sheet.  Additional questions have been added to the prompt sheet and controls have been identified during inspections.  NOPSEMA have updated the best practice exemplars document and will continue to do so, as new and/or better practices are identified.

Facility operators are encouraged to review the information and identify opportunities to improve their current systems and practices.

Members of the offshore workforce are encouraged to use the information as a prompt to review current practice on their facilities and to encourage facility management to adopt better practice where possible.

Contact: [email protected].