COS Highlights Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Safety Alert No. 381

July 14, 2020

The Center for Offshore Safety (COS) highlights the recommendations contained in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Safety Alert No. 381, Common Operator Deficiencies Discovered by Safety Environmental Management System Audits (May 7, 2020).

COS and BSEE are aligned with the goal of enhancing operational excellence, safety, and environmental stewardship in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) through Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) and SEMS audits. As a result of effective auditing of operators’ SEMS by COS-accredited Audit Service Providers (ASP), BSEE’s Safety Alert summarized the most common deficiency for each SEMS element identified in recent audits. 

Continual improvement is fundamental to any management system and the BSEE third-party audits help identify areas for improvement for both individual facilities as well as lessons that can be shared across the industry.  Each operator must complete a Corrective Action Plan to correct deficiencies identified in a SEMS audit. COS encourages all offshore operators and contractors to use this information to check aspects of their own SEMS and implement appropriate corrective action.

COS provides numerous resources to help operators on their SEMS journey, from developing Guidance on Developing a SEMS Corrective Action Plan (COS-1-07) to providing opportunities for Safety Shares and lessons learned for the industry.  One of the recommendations in the Safety Alert is for an operator to conduct a review of their SEMS program to determine if any gaps exist in their management system.  To do so, operators can use the COS Maturity Self-Assessment Tool (COS-3-03) to evaluate their SEMS in relation to a fully mature system and to help identify areas for continual improvement.  Additionally, COS annually collects data on safety and environmental performance offshore as well as lessons learned from incidents and high-value learning events. This information is summarized in an Annual Performance Report and directs COS’ development of good practices.

COS is committed to continuing to support the industry and will work with BSEE and operators to identify and develop new tools to enhance SEMS implementation and audit deficiencies.