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5 Role of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement in Evaluating Safety and Environmental Management Systems Programs The mission of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is “to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforce- ment.” One of its key functions is to develop “standards and regulations to enhance operational safety and environmental protection for the exploration and development of offshore oil and natural gas on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).”1 In fulfilling this function, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE, now BSEE) issued the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) regulation, which requires operators and their contractors to establish and maintain a SEMS program (BOEMRE 2010). This chapter discusses considerations related to inspections and audits. InspectIons As generally defined, an inspection is an organized examination or for- mal evaluation exercise. An inspection involves applying measurements, tests, and gauges to certain characteristics with regard to an object or activity. The results are usually compared with specified minimum requirements and standards for determining whether the item or activity meets these targets. Each operation, personnel action, system, subsystem, and component of a regulated entity under the jurisdic- tion of these requirements (i.e., regulations) is subject to this practice. See http://www.bsee.gov/About-BSEE/index.aspx. 1 72
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 73 Inspectors use their training, education, experience, and understand- ing of the intent of the particular regulation to determine compli- ance. To be ultimately successful, inspectors must be familiar with the equipment they inspect and the safe operating practices necessary to complete the task at hand. The regulations articulate the minimum standards necessary for compliance and, in doing so, limit inspectors to being able to require only these minimums. Among its many provisions, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act contains several safety-related directives, including one that requires that each facility on the OCS be subject to annual scheduled inspections of all safety equipment designed to prevent or ameliorate blowouts, fires, spillages, or other major accidents. Additionally, the law includes a requirement for periodic onsite inspections, without advance notice to the operator of any facility, to ensure compliance with such environmental or safety regulations. Thus, there is a requirement predating SEMS that BSEE continue to inspect offshore installations. A memorandum of under- standing between the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Minerals Manage- ment Service (MMS) was enacted in 2004 to minimize duplication between agencies and to promote consistent regulation of facilities and operations on the OCS (MMS-USCG 2004b). To date, portions of this memorandum of understanding have been clarified or revised, or both, in four follow-up memoranda of agreement (MMS-USCG 2004a, 2006a, 2006b, 2008). The 1990 Marine Board report Alternatives for Inspecting Outer Continental Shelf Operations states, There is a strong sentiment in the industry, on the part of offshore opera- tors and employees, as well as MMS employees, that the regular presence of MMS personnel has positive benefits on safety which should not be foregone. (NRC 1990, p. 72) and The presence of government inspectors on the OCS is important for convey- ing a sense of oversight and for providing impetus to marginal and inexperi- enced operators to meet federal safety standards. (NRC 1990, p. 81) Members of the Committee on the Effectiveness of Safety and Envi- ronmental Management Systems for Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Operations (the committee) heard similar statements from both
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74 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems operator and MMS personnel on a trip to an installation off the Pacific Coast in March 2010. Thus, any system for evaluating the effectiveness of SEMS will need to include a continuing presence of BSEE inspectors on offshore installations. The executive summary of the Marine Board report states, A final point made by the committee—and it is a crucial one—relates to attitudes. In enterprises that are subject to inspection by government or other authorities, the operators of the enterprise often gradually drift to the point of view that the responsibility for safety lies with the government and the inspectors. An attitude develops that the operator’s responsibility and objective is simply to pass the inspection, an attitude the committee refers to as a “compliance mentality.” It is especially likely to develop when inspections are based on a routine checklist approach. The committee emphasizes its belief that compliance does not equal safety. Thus, although it is certainly desirable to have checklists to guide inspec- tors, it is important for MMS to ensure that operators do not sink into a compliance mentality. To reiterate: in practice and in law, the operators bear the primary responsibility for safety. The MMS, for its part, is respon- sible for using the best and most efficient means it can devise to motivate operators to meet that responsibility. (NRC 1990, p. 5) The report goes on to state A key question is, ‘What is the actual relationship between inspection and the safety of offshore platforms?’ It is a truism that inspection contributes positively to safety, but it is widely accepted by safety professionals that too much inspection, the wrong kind of inspection, or the wrong attitude about inspection can detract from safety.” (NRC 1990, p. 39) The committee endorses these sentiments. BSEE has a role in helping the industry develop the culture of safety that the government, the industry, and the public want. The manner in which BSEE evaluates the effective- ness of SEMS can help or hinder this effort, and BSEE needs to take this into account when determining its role. AudIts In establishing its role, BSEE must take care to consider appropriately the role of the operating companies. The initial SEMS rule, issued in October 2010, became effective on November 15, 2011 (30 CFR 250,
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 75 Subpart S). Under Sections 250.1920 and 250.1921, SEMS currently requires the operator to conduct an audit program using either its own qualified employees (i.e., an internal audit) or a qualified third party, as follows: § 250.1920 What are the auditing requirements for my seMs program? (a) You must have your SEMS program audited by either an indepen- dent third-party or your designated and qualified personnel according to the requirements of this subpart and API [American Petroleum Institute] RP [Recommended Practice] 75, Section 12 (incorporated by reference as specified in § 250.198) within 2 years of the initial implementation of the SEMS program and at least once every 3 years thereafter. The audit must be a comprehensive audit of all thirteen elements of your SEMS program to evaluate compliance with the requirements of this subpart and API RP 75 to identify areas in which safety and environmental performance needs to be improved. (b) Your audit plan and procedures must meet or exceed all of the rec- ommendations included in API RP 75 section 12 (incorporated by reference as specified in § 250.198) and include information on how you addressed those recommendations. You must specifically address the following items: (1) Section 12.1 General. (2) Section 12.2 Scope. (3) Section 12.3 Audit Coverage. (4) Section 12.4 Audit Plan. You must submit your written Audit Plan to BSEE at least 30 days before the audit. BSEE reserves the right to modify the list of facilities that you propose to audit. (5) Section 12.5 Audit Frequency, except your audit interval must not exceed 3 years after the 2 year time period for the first audit. (6) Section 12.6 Audit Team. The audit that you submit to BSEE must be conducted by either an independent third party or your designated and qualified personnel. The independent third party or your designated and qualified personnel must meet the requirements in § 250.1926. (c) You must require your auditor (independent third party or your designated and qualified personnel) to submit an audit report of the find- ings and conclusions of the audit to BSEE within 30 days of the audit com- pletion date. The report must outline the results of the audit, including deficiencies identified. (d) You must provide the BSEE a copy of your plan for addressing the deficiencies identified in your audit within 30 days of completion of the audit.
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76 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems Your plan must address the following: (1) A proposed schedule to correct the deficiencies identified in the audit. BSEE will notify you within 14 days of receipt of your plan if your proposed schedule is not acceptable. (2) The person responsible for correcting each identified deficiency, including their job title. (e) BSEE may verify that you undertook the corrective actions and that these actions effectively address the audit findings. Thus an audit and report are required every 3 years after the initial audit. The audit must address all 13 elements of SEMS—17 elements if the SEMS II notice of proposed rule making (BOEMRE 2011a) is adopted (see Table 4-1)—and BSEE must preapprove the audit plan. The number of installations that must be covered by each audit is not specified in 30 CFR 250, but reference is made to API RP 75, which requires that each audit include coverage of at least 15 percent of the operator’s facilities. API RP 75, Section 12.3, “Audit Coverage,” states, When selecting facilities to audit, consideration should be given to com- mon features (e.g., field supervisors, regulatory districts, facility design, systems and equipment, office management, etc.) to obtain a cross-section of practices for the facilities operated. The testing system of the audit need not be applied to each facility; rather, interviews and inspections should be conducted at fields that differ significantly (e.g., oil vs. dry gas). This should include a number of facilities sufficient to evaluate management’s commitment to items a, b, and c in 12.2. During each audit, at least fifteen percent (15%) of the facilities operated, with a minimum of one facility, should be audited. The facilities included in the audit should not be the same as those included in the previous audit. When sufficient deficiencies are identified in the effectiveness of any safety and environmental manage- ment program elements, the test sample size shall be expanded for that program element. (API 2004, p. 25) Thus, every 3 years, each operator must audit at least one of its installa- tions. Operators with multiple installations need only audit a represen- tative sample of 15 percent of the installations. BSEE also reserves the right to conduct audits of its own or to require an operator to have a third party conduct an audit, as specified in 30 CFR 250.1925:
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 77 § 250.1925 May Bsee direct me to conduct additional audits? (a) If BSEE identifies safety or non-compliance concerns based on the results of our inspections and evaluations, or as a result of an event, BSEE may direct you to have an independent third-party audit of your SEMS program, in addition to the regular audit required by § 250.1920, or BSEE may conduct an audit. (1) If BSEE directs you to have an independent third-party audit, (i) You are responsible for all of the costs associated with the audit, and (ii) The independent third-party audit must meet the require- ments of § 250.1920 of this part and you must ensure that the independent third party submits the findings and conclusions of a BSEE-directed audit according to the requirements in § 250.1920 to BSEE within 30 days after the audit is completed. (2) If BSEE conducts the audit, BSEE will provide a report of the findings and conclusions within 30 days of the audit. (b) Findings from these audits may result in enforcement actions as identified in § 250.1927. (c) You must provide the BSEE a copy of your plan for addressing the deficiencies identified in the BSEE-directed audit within 30 days of completion of the audit as required in § 250.1920. Auditor Qualifications SEMS audits span a wide range of disciplines and require auditors who are suitably qualified and trained in the technical skills involved in off- shore safety and environmental issues as well as in the audit function. Auditing can be performed by organizations or individuals, and both should be competent as well as independent. Consideration will need to be given to the various tasks associated with the audit function as well as to the qualifications of the individuals authorized to perform those tasks. Section 250.1926 of the initial SEMS rule describes the required min- imum qualifications of the individual or organization conducting the audit and requires BSEE to approve the qualifications of each auditor: § 250.1926 What qualifications must an independent third party or my designated and qualified personnel meet? (a) You must either choose an independent third-party or your des- ignated and qualified personnel to audit your SEMS program. You must
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78 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems take into account the following qualifications when selecting the third- party or your designated and qualified personnel: (1) Previous education and experience with SEMS, or similar man- agement related programs. (2) Technical capabilities of the individual or organization for the specific project. (3) Ability to perform the independent third-party functions for the specific project considering current commitments. (4) Previous experience with BSEE regulatory requirements and procedures. (5) Previous education and experience to comprehend and evalu- ate how the company’s offshore activities, raw materials, production methods and equipment, products, byproducts, and business man- agement systems may impact health and safety performance in the workplace. (b) You must have procedures to avoid conflicts of interest related to the development of your SEMS program and the independent third party auditor and your designated and qualified personnel. (c) BSEE may evaluate the qualifications of the independent third parties or your designated and qualified personnel. This may include an audit of documents and procedures or interviews. BSEE may disallow audits by a specific independent third-party or your designated and quali- fied personnel if they do not meet the criteria of this section. These qualifications, which are under consideration for modification in the SEMS II notice of proposed rulemaking (BOEMRE 2011a), reflect the basic high-level qualifications needed of auditors: • Education and previous experience with SEMS or similar management- related programs; • Previous experience with BSEE regulatory requirements and proce- dures; and • Educational background and previous experience relevant to under- standing and evaluating how the operator’s offshore activities, raw materials, production methods and equipment, products, by-products, and business management systems may affect health and safety perfor- mance in the workplace.
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 79 In addition to specifying these qualifications, SEMS II addresses the independence of the auditor with the following requirements (BOEMRE 2011a): • The operator must provide a document signed by its management that states that the independent third-party auditor is not owned or con- trolled by, or otherwise affiliated with, the operator’s company. • The operator must have procedures for avoiding conflicts of interest related to the development of its SEMS program and to the indepen- dent third-party auditor. If an independent third party developed or maintains the SEMS program, then that person or its subsidiaries can- not audit the program. What Makes a Good Auditor? The SEMS requirements summarized above should be considered min- imum requirements. The operator should view the audit not only as an opportunity to confirm both compliance with the regulations and the effectiveness of its SEMS program but, more important, as an opportu- nity to have a positive impact on the organization and further enhance its safety culture. The best auditors work with the organizations they are auditing by encouraging industry best practices to promote con- tinuous improvement at all levels of the organization. They are familiar with the operations and responsibilities of the facility being audited and are sometimes recognized as being interested in improving the performance of the safety management system rather than as being an enforcer or punisher. Therefore, auditors must have special skills that are achieved through education, training, and experience. Numerous existing auditing proto- cols and qualification requirements are available as examples for BSEE’s SEMS auditors. A majority of the organizations with programs similar to SEMS that are discussed in Chapter 4, such as Petroleum Safety Author- ity Norway, the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have similar auditing protocols and qualifications, and details can be found in the associated references for each.
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80 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems Auditor Competence ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems (ISO 2008), is a widely accepted international standard that is in use in more than 1 million organizations worldwide. Many of the offshore oil and gas operators subject to SEMS use ISO 9001 as the basis for their quality management system. ISO 9001 requires auditing and references a separate document, ISO 19011, Guide- lines for Quality and/or Environmental Management Systems Auditing (ISO 2002; BSI 2012), as a basis for the audit process. ISO 19011 covers managing audits, audit activities, preparing for and conducting audits, preparing audit reports, and conducting follow-up activities. ISO 19011 also provides considerable guidance on the competence and quality of good auditors. It defines competence as “ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results” (BSI 2012, p. 3).2 The competence of auditors involves a combination of characteristics, the key aspects of which are knowledge and skills, education, work experience, auditor training, audit experience, and personal attributes (Figure 5-1). Knowledge and skills Auditors must have a combination of generic as well as SEMS-specific knowledge and skills that pertain to the safety and environmental aspects of offshore operations. Generic knowledge and skills consist of basic auditing principles and techniques, including the ability to plan and execute the audit effectively. This type of knowledge is applicable to any type of audit, including SEMS. Knowledge and skills specific to the safety and environmental aspects of offshore operations include knowledge of the BSEE SEMS standard, including the related science, technology, processes, and terminology, as well as the interface between systems and human activities. education, Work experience, Auditor training, and Audit experience Auditor education, experience, and training should complement each other. Education should be sufficient in the technical skills associated Permission to reproduce extracts from Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems (ISO 19011:2011) 2 is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/Shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, e-mail: email@example.com.
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 81 Competence Safety Environmental Generic Environmental-specific Safety-specific knowledge and knowledge and skills knowledge and skills skills Work Auditor Audit Education Experience Training Experience Personal Attributes FIGURE 5-1 concept of competence and auditor qualifications related to seMs (modified by committee from ISO 19011 to apply to SEMS). with offshore safety, the environment, and auditing processes. ISO 19011 (BSI 2012, p. 28)3 states Auditor knowledge and skills can be acquired using a combination of the following: – formal education/training and experience that contribute to the devel- opment of knowledge and skills in the management system discipline and sector the auditor intends to audit; – training programmes that cover generic auditor knowledge and skills; – experience in a relevant technical, managerial or professional position involving the exercise of judgement, decision making, problem solv- ing and communication with managers, professionals, peers, customers and other interested parties; – audit experience acquired under the supervision of an auditor in the same discipline. Methods for evaluating the auditor for competence and for maintaining and improving auditor competence are also described. Permission to reproduce extracts from Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems (ISO 19011:2011) 3 is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/Shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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82 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems personal Attributes As noted several times in this report, the success (or failure) of an audit greatly depends on the auditor(s) involved. To be effective, the auditor(s) must have not only the proper technical knowl- edge, skills, and education, but also good interpersonal skills. An audit is an emotional event in which an organization and its employees are examined, and the auditor’s approach to this process is highly impor- tant. A person may have the proper technical knowledge and skills but a poor personal approach that alienates. ISO 19011 (BSI 2012, pp. 25–26)4 recommends that Auditors should exhibit professional behaviour during the performance of audit activities, including being: – ethical, i.e., fair, truthful, sincere, honest and discreet; – open-minded, i.e., willing to consider alternative ideas or points of view; – diplomatic, i.e., tactful in dealing with people; – observant, i.e., actively observing physical surroundings and activities; – perceptive, i.e., aware of and able to understand situations; – versatile, i.e., able to readily adapt to different situations; – tenacious, i.e., persistent and focused on achieving objectives; – decisive, i.e., able to reach timely conclusions based on logical reasoning and analysis; – self-reliant, i.e., able to act and function independently whilst interacting effectively with others; – [able to act] with fortitude, i.e., able to act responsibly and ethically, even though these actions may not always be popular and may sometimes result in disagreement or confrontation; – open to improvement, i.e., willing to learn from situations, and striving for better audit results; – culturally sensitive, i.e., observant and respectful to the culture of the auditee; – collaborative, i.e., effectively interacting with others, including audit team members and the auditee’s personnel. Permission to reproduce extracts from Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems (ISO 19011:2011) 4 is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/Shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, e-mail: email@example.com.
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 83 Basic underlying principles of Auditing Auditing is characterized not only by the competency issues discussed above, but by reliance on several core principles that must carry down directly to the auditor. These principles revolve around ethics, profes- sionalism, and independence and provide the basis for developing audit conclusions that are unbiased and pertinent. They also provide the basis for repeatability (i.e., no matter who performs the audit, the findings would be similar for similar timing, situations, and circumstances). ISO 19011 (BSI 2012, pp. 4–5)5 summarizes these principles as follows: a) Integrity: the foundation of professionalism Auditors and the person managing an audit programme should: – perform their work with honesty, diligence, and responsibility; – observe and comply with any applicable legal requirements; – demonstrate their competence while performing their work; – perform their work in an impartial manner, i.e., remain fair and unbiased in all their dealings; – be sensitive to any influences that may be exerted on their judgement while carrying out an audit. b) Fair presentation: the obligation to report truthfully and accurately Audit findings, audit conclusions and audit reports should reflect truth- fully and accurately the audit activities. Significant obstacles encoun- tered during the audit and unresolved diverging opinions between the audit team and the auditee should be reported. The communication should be truthful, accurate, objective, timely, clear and complete. c) due professional care: the application of diligence and judgement in auditing Auditors should exercise due care in accordance with the importance of the task they perform and the confidence placed in them by the audit client and other interested parties. An important factor in carrying out their work with due professional care is having the ability to make rea- soned judgements in all audit situations. Permission to reproduce extracts from Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems (ISO 19011:2011) 5 is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/Shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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84 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems d) confidentiality: security of information Auditors should exercise discretion in the use and protection of infor- mation acquired in the course of their duties. Audit information should not be used inappropriately for personal gain by the auditor or the audit client, or in a manner detrimental to the legitimate interests of the auditee. This concept includes the proper handling of sensitive or confidential information. e) Independence: the basis for the impartiality of the audit and objectivity of the audit conclusions Auditors should be independent of the activity being audited wherever practicable, and should in all cases act in a manner that is free from bias and conflict of interest. For internal audits, auditors should be independent from the operating managers of the function being audited. Auditors should maintain objectivity throughout the audit process to ensure that the audit findings and conclusions are based only on the audit evidence. For small organizations, it may not be possible for internal auditors to be fully independent of the activity being audited, but every effort should be made to remove bias and encourage objectivity. f) evidence-based approach: the rational method for reaching reliable and reproducible audit conclusions in a systematic audit process Audit evidence should be verifiable. It will in general be based on samples of the information available, since an audit is conducted during a finite period of time and with finite resources. An appropriate use of sampling should be applied, since this is closely related to the confidence that can be placed in the audit conclusions. training and certification Training programs allow individuals to become familiar with audit requirements. Structuring training programs around the elements of SEMS will allow a focus on qualifications that pertain to specific ele- ments, so that auditors can be authorized to perform particular func- tions. A SEMS audit team could then be composed of individuals with different levels of competence and authorization. Training can be conducted either in-house or externally, and there are companies developing training specific to SEMS. Training courses, whether given internally or externally, should be tested and indepen- dently certified.
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 85 As described in Chapter 4, the Center for Offshore Safety (COS) is an industry group that, in association with API, is currently developing a third-party certification and auditor process specifically for SEMS. The COS plan is to certify audit service providers to conduct SEMS audits using a protocol developed by COS that satisfies both BSEE and industry requirements. Because COS may be involved in many SEMS audits, it plans to collect what it learns about best practices associated with the audit process and then share this information with the industry. The accreditation process and qualification requirements for COS audi- tors were still under development at the writing of this report, but it is anticipated that these will include many of the characteristics discussed in this chapter. ensurIng eFFectIveness The role that BSEE will play in ensuring that a SEMS program is in place and operating properly is described in 30 CFR 250.1924: § 250.1924 How will Bsee determine if my seMs program is effec- tive? (a) BSEE or its authorized representative may evaluate or visit your facility to determine whether your SEMS program is in place, addresses all required elements, and is effective in protecting the safety and health of workers, the environment, and preventing incidents. BSEE or its autho- rized representative may evaluate your SEMS program, including docu- mentation of contractors, independent third parties, your designated and qualified personnel, and audit reports, to assess your SEMS program. These evaluations or visits may be random or based upon the OCS lease operator’s or contractor’s performance. (b) For the evaluations, you must make the following available to BSEE upon request: (1) Your SEMS program; (2) The qualifications of your independent third-party or your des- ignated and qualified personnel; (3) The SEMS audits conducted of your program; (4) Documents or information relevant to whether you have addressed and corrected the deficiencies of your audit; and (5) Other relevant documents or information.
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86 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems (c) During the site visit BSEE may verify that: (1) Personnel are following your SEMS program; (2) You can explain and demonstrate the procedures and policies included in your SEMS program; and (3) You can produce evidence to support the implementation of your SEMS program. (d) Representatives from BSEE may observe or participate in your SEMS audit. You must notify the BSEE at least 30-days prior to conduct- ing your audit as required in § 250.1920, so that BSEE may make arrange- ments to observe or participate in the audit. The SEMS regulation states that the agency will take certain enforcement actions if it finds the SEMS program or its audits to be out of compliance (30 CFR 250.1927): § 250.1927 What happens if BSEE finds shortcomings in my SEMS program? If BSEE determines that your SEMS program is not in compliance with this subpart we may initiate one or more of the following enforcement actions: (a) Issue an Incident(s) of Noncompliance; (b) Assess civil penalties; or (c) Initiate probationary or disqualification procedures from serving as an OCS operator. Thus, the current role of the operator is to establish a SEMS program and conduct specified internal or third-party audits according to a plan approved by BSEE. BSEE’s current role is to either visit facilities themselves or arrange for third parties to do so on behalf of BSEE to inspect for compliance, approve all operator audit plans and individual auditors, review the results of all audits, and issue incident of noncompliance (INC) notices or other forms of punishment for noncompliance. It is unclear whether the intent is to issue punishment for deficiencies found in an operator’s audit(s) as well as for deficiencies found in BSEE-arranged inspections and audits. In discussions with BSEE, the committee was told that current BSEE division inspectors would have checklists and be expected to issue INCs for any deficiencies in an operator’s SEMS program that the inspectors
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Role of BSEE in Evaluating SEMS Programs 87 observed during their inspections;6 however, it is not expected that these BSEE employees will be trained and qualified as SEMS auditors. Rather, the regions will hire and train a cadre of qualified auditors who will be able to review audit plans and reports and conduct audits on behalf of BSEE. The committee recognizes that it will likely take some time for proper training and development programs to be implemented by BSEE, as well as time to locate and hire appropriate personnel. This likely will not be easy or quick, but will be necessary in order to move beyond following a checklist and toward promoting a culture of safety. One necessary, but likely not sufficient, step toward achieving the desired competence is requiring each BSEE auditor to fulfill certification requirements com- parable to those needed by third-party auditors. In a notice in the Federal Register on September 14, 2011, BOEMRE announced its intention to amend SEMS (30 CFR 250 Subpart S) as fol- lows (BOEMRE 2011a): (1) Procedures to authorize any and all employees on the facility to implement a Stop Work Authority (SWA) program when witnessing an activity that is regulated under BOEMRE jurisdiction that creates a threat of danger to an individual, property, and/or the environment; (2) Clearly defined requirements establishing who has the ultimate author- ity on the facility for operational safety and decision making at any given time; (3) A plan of action that shows how operator employees are involved in the implementation of the API’s Recommended Practice for Devel- opment of a Safety [and] Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities (API RP 75), as incorporated by reference in the subpart S regulatory requirements in the October 15, 2010, final rule; (4) Guidelines for reporting unsafe work conditions related to an operator’s SEMS program, that provide all employees the right to report a possible safety or environmental violation(s) and to request a BOEMRE inspec- tion of the facility if they believe there is a serious threat of danger or their employer is not following BOEMRE regulations; D. Slitor. BOEMRE Status Report. Presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., August 31, 2011. 6
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88 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems (5) Revisions that require operators with SEMS programs to engage inde- pendent third party auditors to conduct all audits of operators’ SEMS programs and that the independent third party auditors must meet the criteria listed in Section 250.1926 of this proposed rule. (6) Additional requirements for conducting a JSA [job safety analysis]. The revisions would prohibit operators from using their own quali- fied staff to conduct required SEMS audits. Instead, operators would be required to use BSEE-approved third-party auditors. The 1990 Marine Board study also looked at replacing MMS inspections with a require- ment that MMS require operators to arrange for third-party inspections: It is hard to assess the impact this alternative might have on the safety consciousness of operators. With adequate precautions to obviate conflict- of-interest situations, there is no reason to believe that third-party inspectors would not carry out their duties so that the compliance element of the inspection process would be unchanged. This fact in itself, however, pro- vides the operator with the same kind of shelter that he now has when he successfully “passes” an MMS inspection. Thus, the committee believes there will be a negligible impact on safety consciousness: the tendency toward a “compliance mentality” would not be corrected by this alternative. (NRC 1990, p. 72) The committee, once again, endorses the concept that an evaluation system that maximizes the involvement of the operator in auditing and improving its SEMS procedures is preferable from the standpoint of moving from a compliance mentality to one of continuous development of a culture of safety.