Governments bring in sweeping offshore safety law

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— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

The provincial government unveiled a massive new piece of offshore health and safety legislation today, laying out in detail how oil and gas companies need to deal with health and safety issues in the offshore.

The legislation basically spells out in writing what has been done in practice, but closes a gap in the law created by the 1992 amendments to the Atlantic Accord.

Employees have the right to refuse work, and the right to protection from reprisal for raising health and safety issues.

The legislation gives a bit more authority to the Canada-Newfounldand and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) when it comes to releasing information and it requires operators to share information when it comes health and safety.

The CNLOPB now reports to the minister responsible for health and safety when it comes to those issues. Previously, the CNLOPB only reported to the minister of natural resources.

The law itself is roughly 180 pages long, and it'll need to be passed by the Nova Scotia legislature and the House of Commons, as well as the House of Assembly in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The 1992 Atlantic Accord separated health issues from safety issues, which effectively meant that the CNLOPB had to use other avenues to enforce health and safety issues. The new bill tries to clean all that up and lay it down in a single piece of legislation.

Officials briefing reporters said that while the bill is massive, mostly it's just laying down in law things that have already been happening in practice.

The new legislation does not address Recommendation 29 from the Wells inquiry into offshore helicopter safety. Wells called for a separate offshore safety regulator, taken out of the CNLOPB's hands.

 

 

Organizations: Canada-Newfounldand and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, House of Commons, House of Assembly in Newfoundland and Labrador.The 1992 Atlantic Accord

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • richard
    May 03, 2013 - 04:57

    This government is so full of it! The oil companies are doing as they please and laughing at Stunderdale. Gov itself does not have a simple thing like whistleblower legislation for fear of employees leaking a fraction of what they are up to.

  • MallRat
    May 02, 2013 - 19:26

    When will Government adopt this policy within the ranks of the Public Service Slaves who work in fear of reprisals EVERYDAY!??

  • gerry
    May 02, 2013 - 18:13

    oh, like the lie-berals never posied or invited anyone on up to the money trough....

  • Rigpig
    May 02, 2013 - 18:12

    The CNLOPB needs to have the safety part taken away. Service NL has the OHS department to enforce.

  • billypeugh
    May 02, 2013 - 14:44

    I remember back around 2003 refusing to go on a supply boat due to fog because I was prone to sea sickness in rough weather ....oil company wrote my boss very politely ,,,," we respect his refusal to take the supply boat to the rig and wait for a helicopter for health reasons , however if he is unable to take boat in future please advise him to find other employment not related to offshore work."

  • Brian
    May 02, 2013 - 14:19

    This Bill amounts to nothing , it is an attempt by this government to indicate that they are doing something but it is Smoke and mirrors . The CNOLPB will be nothing as long as the political appointments are individuals with no substance. A proper name shouldn't be your ticket to the board.

  • Torey Nomore
    May 02, 2013 - 13:42

    This will only serve to appoint more Tory supporters as bobbleheads to the CNLOPB dumping ground. More patronage appointments to come, disguised as industry experts. I can't vote Tory no more!