The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has introduced a new set of rules to address and manage operational safety hazards and impacts on the US Outer Continental Shelf.

The latest step is aimed to expand safe and responsible development of the nation’s oil and gas resources alongside increasing safety of offshore crew.

The Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) II final rule has been designed to improve the original SEMS rule, also known as the Workplace Safety Rule, which was issued in October 2010.

Besides providing greater protection by supplementing operators’ SEMS programs with greater employee participation, the new rule will empower field level personnel with safety management decisions, and strengthen oversight by requiring audits to be conducted by accredited third-parties.

Under the Workplace Safety Rule, which came into effect on 15 November 2010, operators were required to implement an SEMS programme by 15 November 2011 and have to submit their first completed SEMS audit to BSEE by 15 November 2013.

Subsequently, BSEE had released the Draft Safety Culture Policy Statement on 20 December 2012, to provide a common definition for everyone working offshore.