Ageing oil and gas facilities pose significant OHS risks

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) released a report on Friday saying that oil and gas companies operating in Australia fail to recognise the occupational health and safety risk  caused by ageing facilities.

NOPSEMA chief executive Jane Cutler said that there are three uncontrolled hydrocarbon releases of particular concern because of its potential to ignite offshore rigs and wellheads. The releases occurred last year at a wellhead platform, a pipeline and floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

“From the early design stages of a facility, to the end of its lifecycle, it is up to industry, regulators and operators alike to be vigilant in their commitment to the safety of people working offshore and improve the overall health and safety performance of the petroleum industry,” said Ms Cutler.

According to the report, there are a significant number of facilities in Australian waters which are considered aged or ageing.

“Ageing is considered an OHS concern as, unless a systematic approach is developed, the maintenance and repair resources required to address ageing issues once they have occurred may lead to conflicts between safety and production in the future.”

Perth Now reports that NOPSEMA investigated 57 incidents starting July to December 2011. The investigation also includes 38 incidents which resulted in accidents or injury reports.

OHS News

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