Health & Safety Report 2013


10 Focus Areas for 2013 This section summarises some of the key focus areas for Oil & Gas UK in 2013. These are subject areas that we identify as being significant at this time but the dynamic nature of our business is such that any activity scope needs to be flexible to accommodate unforeseen events that may dictate new or revised priorities. 10.1 European Union Safety Directive As described in section 3.3 of this report, the offshore oil and gas industry successfully countered EC proposals to introduce an EU Regulation on the Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Prospection, Exploration and Production. The effective challenge on the part of Oil & Gas UK, partner trade associations in other North Sea states, international regulators and unions, has resulted in the introduction of a Directive rather than a Regulation. The Directive is seen as being the best instrument to secure the desired improvement to safety across the EU. It is likely to be published in the summer and will then have to be implemented nationally within two years (by summer 2015). Existing installations will have 60 months in which to comply with the new requirements. This aligns well with the requirements laid out in the current Safety Case Regulations 2005, whereby a periodic “thorough review” for each safety case must be conducted at least every five years. UK regulators (HSE and DECC) will undertake a thorough gap analysis to identify which of the Directive articles match current UK regulatory provisions, whether some fine tuning is required, or whether new regulations are needed. That process will lead to a period of consultation with stakeholders, including Oil & Gas UK, enabling options to be firmed up and allowing any necessary changes to UK regulations to be in place by summer 2015. Given that much of the Directive clearly draws upon existing UK major hazard legislation, it is reasonable to anticipate that there should be few requirements for new regulations or for revision to existing regulations. That said, effort will be required over the course of the next two years to carry out the review, to consult on any identified changes to regulation and to implement any new or revised regulations. Oil & Gas UK will collaborate with HSE and DECC to that effect.

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