Senate report seeks to improve safety in offshore petroleum industry

The Senate Education and Employment References Committee has released a report detailing recommendations for workers in the offshore petroleum industry.

The report, entitled ‘Work health and safety of workers in the offshore petroleum industry’makes a number of recommendations related to safety in the offshore petroleum industry.

One primary focus was to amend or update elements of the current ‘Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006’ (OPGGS) to reflect the newer Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHSA).

Among its recommendations, the Senate Committee suggested that companies should be required to ensure the presence of formally recognised health and safety representatives so that employees can report their findings safely.

It also recommended that companies should not be able to prevent any unannounced regulatory safety audits or representatives on their platforms.

Organiser Peter Mooney of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) spoke positively of the report.

According to the ETU, the age and condition of some offshore platforms and processing plants are reaching 50 years old. This may potentially cause another explosion, threatening lives and supply.

Commenting on such safety concerns in the offshore petroleum industry, he said, “We are still extremely concerned, not only about the safety of workers on offshore platforms.

“It is the one industry that our members are leaving because the safety near-miss incidents are occurring too frequently, and because no job is worth losing your life for.”

The offshore petroleum industry contributed $28.5 billion to the national accounts in the year 2016-2017. In the same year, the number of people employed in the sector was 20,000.

The full report can be read here.

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