Regulator to inspect operators' COVID-19 response

THE federal offshore regulator is not carrying out physical inspections of offshore facilities, but has instead introduced live-streaming inspections, in an attempt to manage the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regulator to inspect operators' COVID-19 response Regulator to inspect operators' COVID-19 response Regulator to inspect operators' COVID-19 response Regulator to inspect operators' COVID-19 response Regulator to inspect operators' COVID-19 response

Inspections carried out online

Mark Tilly

Journalist

Mark Tilly

 

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The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority said yesterday the information will be used to further develop and plan how it will prioritise regulations, with the information being gathered via online inspection meetings with offshore oil and gas production companies. 

Operators will be asked to respond to a series of questions, which it posted examples of; such as how the pandemic has affected operations, changes in rosters, transport and personnel changes, changes in maintenance and shutdown activities and drilling activities. 

Earlier this month the regulator warned against the overlong rosters some operators have put in place in a bid to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, saying there has been a lack of consideration for the fatigue and mental health of workers. 

While the regulator acknowledged operators have been introducing swings which include two weeks in isolation to manage the risk of spreading COVID-19, it has received concerns in relation how these changes to rosters have been introduced. 

It pointed to the large body of evidence highlighting fly-in-fly-out workers suffer from higher rates of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms, and extended rosters could exacerbate these issues.  

The example questions it listed also ask if operators have undertaken a review of their emergency response plans and if crisis management teams have been activated. 

The regulator itself closed its office this time last month. 

"We anticipate that all NOPSEMA staff will be working remotely from March 23 until otherwise advised, following significant tests of our systems for large scale remote operations," the regulator said at the time. 

"We are confident that we have the capacity to provide all required regulatory support and to continue our regulatory operations."

 

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