Sharing information across national boundaries contributes to developing global safety regimes in a coordinated manner.
Organisations like the North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum (NSOAF) and the International Regulators’ Forum (IRF) are important arenas for such dialogue and collaboration.
Membership of the NSOAF embraces regulatory agencies in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and the Faroes as well as Norway.
For its part, the IRF brings the PSA together with its counterparts in the USA, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Working groups appointed by the NSOAF have pursued many projects over the years to identify common challenges and reduce differences between formal national requirements. The latter relate to technical, operational and education conditions in North Sea petroleum operations.
Four groups are currently in action, covering
The last of these, also chaired by the PSA for 2008-09, will seek common interpretations of and approaches to European Union/European Economic Area legislation on safety and environmental issues.
An important meeting was staged by the NSOAF in Aberdeen last autumn for top executives, who play a key role in creating and developing a safety culture.
Attracting more than 50 participants, this gathering gave senior management and regulators the opportunity to present and debate their views on relevant safety challenges.
The discussion revealed that the industry and the authorities could collaborate to mutual benefit in a number of areas –even though their interests differ in others.
The IRF held its 15th annual meeting in Sydney, Australia, last October. One item on the packed three-day agenda was the publication of results from the performance measures project.
Pursued over a number of years, this has collected and compared incident data using standard criteria to measure and compare offshore safety levels among forum members. The work has proved very difficult because criteria for registering incidents and accidents vary greatly from country to country.
Although the system which has now been developed is not perfect, the members agreed that it currently provides the best available basis for comparisons.
It was accordingly resolved that the results will be published on the IRF’s website at www.irfoffshoresafety.com
Contact in the PSA:
Odd Bjerre Finnestad, senior advisor