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PAME Health and Safety Workshop

The Protection of Arctic Marine Environments (PAME) working group held a Health Safety and Environmental Management Systems (HSEMS) Workshop in Keflavik, Iceland 10-12 June. The agenda of the workshop was coordinated with the related EPPR Recommended Practices for Prevention oil Pollution (RP3) workshop also held in Keflavik 11-12 June to facilitate the opportunity for oil and gas experts to attend and contribute to both workshops.

The meeting was attended by 22 people and featured 10 invited presentations. Attendees included representatives from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, PAME, EPPR, indigenous peoples organizations, national coast guards, environmental protection offshore oil and gas regulatory agencies, academia, and oil and gas associations.

The HSE workshop began the 10th of June with presentations on topics such as Deepwater Horizon assessments and investigations, offshore drilling, and the national Health Safety and Environment (HSE) management systems currently in place in Norway, Greenland, United States and Canada, and the HSE sections of the Arctic Council Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines, 2009. During day two, the background and status of the EPPR RP3 project was presented along with the PAME HSEMS project.

Group discussions in the offshore oil and gas session on the second and third day after the presentations produced insight into the differences and similarities of existing onshore and offshore HSE Management Systems (HSEMS) and highlighted some of the main elements found to be critical to prevention of major accidents and pollution incidents. The main themes were keeping recommendations limited to the most important issues identified yet useful for regulators and other stakeholders.

The main single message from the workshop was answering the question of what is the government’s and Arctic Council’s role in how to improve “Safety Culture” in the industry.

Based on the discussions the preliminary findings from the workshop were that the HSEMS project should develop a report using a tiered, nonbinding Guidance/Recommendations approach with a single top priority and successive tiers that include more generalized guidance and appendices containing reference material on existing HSEMS guidelines and investigations into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon accident. It was also decided to hold a workshop on Safety Culture to help develop recommendations or guidance on this high priority issue. The PAME Oil and Gas Contact Group was approached by EPPR to see if they would help write the HSE Section of the RP3 Report.

PAME will hold its next meeting 18-20 September in Halifax, Canada and planning is underway to hold the Safety Culture workshop just before the PAME meeting.

Photo: PAME