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(81d) Paradigm Shift In the Regulatory Application of Safety Management Systems to Offshore Facilities

Authors: 
Maher, S. T., Risk Management Professionals
Cheek, C. D., Risk Management Professionals


The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and release from the Macondo Well resulted in a re-examination of the existing regulatory framework, significant modifications to the structure and function of key regulatory agencies, and the application of new Safety Management Systems requirements to Offshore Facilities in United States waters. Late-2010 has seen the evolution of both prescriptive and performance-based regulations to address both direct and underlying causes of the tragedy. The objective of this paper will be to briefly review these new regulatory requirements and illustrate their relation to the application of other Safety Management Systems, both for Offshore and Onshore Facilities. The common themes, objectives, and overlap of specific onshore and offshore Safety Management System elements will be demonstrated, along with tips on how this overlap can be used to more effectively (and sensibly) implement these programs. This paper will also outline successful Safety Management System programs that are being applied by various state agencies to onshore and offshore coastal facilities and derive lessons-learned that may be useful in the implementation of related federal programs.

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