The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), an agency under the US Department of the Interior, has rolled out a new risk-based inspection programme to address concerns regarding offshore facilities and operations that pose a heightened risk.
The new inspection protocol builds on BSEE’s existing National Safety Inspection Programme and seeks to evaluate the integrity of critical safety systems on facilities and operations.
Primarily, the inspections will target areas where multiple incidents of non-compliance or events were identified in the past.
BSEE Gulf of Mexico Region Safety Management Office chief Jason Mathews said: “We developed this programme to address areas where trends in compliance and incident data suggest the potential for imminent safety concerns.
“Together, we strive for continuous improvement so that offshore energy operations are safe for workers and the environment.”
The agency uses inspection findings and incident reports to profile production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico by assigning a risk factor score to each one.
The risk factor score is created after analysis of information related to performance and risk.
Broadly, the information is classified under two categories, namely ‘facility based’ and ‘performance based’.
Once the analysis of the information is completed, BSEE prioritises the areas that need follow-up under the risk-based inspection protocols.
In a 2012 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) called for the need to devise a framework in order to identify and evaluate offshore operations on the basis of risk.
BSEE believes the inspections will enable reduction of the possibility of incidents across the Gulf of Mexico Region on a continuous basis.
Beginning this month, the first risk-based inspections will lay an emphasis on crane operations.