Offshore Drilling Agency Adds to Safety Requirements

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has added to a rule announced last year, aimed at keeping offshore oil and gas drilling workers safer. Under the new proposed rule, the agency wants a third-party audit of safety systems established by offshore operators. Last year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced a rule under which companies are required to analyze for risks at every stage of the offshore exploration and drilling process, and are required to work to minimize the risk of errors. Under the new rule that was announced this week, companies will also be required to undertake a third-party audit of these procedures. The agency had given some indication last year that it would consider requiring third-party audits of the safety and environment management systems established by offshore operators. The agency is also setting new guidelines for determining unsafe work conditions, and is also in the process of requiring an employee participation program in safety and environmental management systems. Additionally, the agency is also considering new requirements that would require companies to conduct job safety analyses. Companies will also be required to establish procedures that allow employees to stop working when they notice any unsafe work conditions. Some companies already have such policies in place, but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement would require such policies to be federally mandated. Brian Beckcom is a maritime lawyer who represents crewmembers injured in towboat, cargo vessel, tanker and container ship accidents across the globe. If you have been injured on a vessel, contact the maritime lawyers at Vujasinovic and Beckcom for a free evaluation of your case. You can also download a copy of this report: The Insider's Guide to Winning Your Maritime Injury Case.

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