In its bid to root out any lingering complacency in offshore oil and gas operations, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released the “final rule” for its Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) program. Bolstering the original SEMS rule of 2010, the SEMS II final rule requires greater employee participation, gives field level personnel authority to stop work, and strengthens oversight by requiring audits to be conducted by accredited third parties.


Extra safety requirements in the final rule include:

Developing a stop-work authority that authorizes personnel who see an imminent risk to stop work;

Developing an ultimate work authority that requires operators to define who has the ultimate work authority on a facility for operational safety and decision- making at any given time;

Requiring an employee participation plan to eliminate or mitigate safety hazards;

Establishing guidelines for reporting that enable personnel to report possible violations and threats of danger directly to BSEE; and

Requiring that the team lead for an audit be independent and represent an accredited audit service provider.

Mactech’s Take:
As deeper exploration and wells continue to become viable due to increasing technology, our industry must continue to incorporate safety into everything we do. BSEE providing the ability of more personnel to get stop-work authority seems to strengthen the ability for workers to remain safe.

According to Chevron, “Stop Work Authority (SWA) establishes the responsibility and authority of any individual to stop work when an unsafe condition or act could result in an undesirable event. In general terms, the SWA process involves a stop, notify, correct, and resume approach for the resolution.”

Safety for our workers and for the environment surrounding us. The offshore oil and gas industry is a very dangerous industry and the process of keeping our most important assets safe (people and environment) will continue to rely on the joint efforts of all experts within the industry.

Read more from the source: