Who Needs a Safety Case

Every operator or owner (duty holder) of an offshore installation located in the UK sector of the North Sea or the Atlantic margin must provide it with a Safety Case. Similarly installations operating offshore Ireland, Holland, Denmark, the Faroes, Greenland, the Falklands and Australia are also required to have Safety Cases. Elsewhere in the world some operators ask the owners of mobile units to provide Safety Cases.

Of course the first question must be: what is an installation? The Guidance to the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015 provides the answer.

An offshore installation is defined in regulation 3(1) of MAR (The UK Management and Administration Regulations) as a structure used for any one of a number of activities….which are:

  • •  Exploring for, or exploiting mineral resources by means of a well;
  • •  The offshore storage of gas and the recovery of stored gas;
  • •  The conveyance of anything by means of a pipe
  • •  Activities involving mechanically entering the pressure containment boundary of a well
  • •  The provision of accommodation for workers on offshore installations where this activity is the primary purpose for which the structure is being used

Broadly speaking then, Safety Cases are required by the duty holders of jack-ups, semi-submersibles, FPSOs, platforms and accommodation vessels operating in the jurisdictions mentioned above.

When it comes to "approvals" some administrations accept cases that have been accepted by the UK Competent Authority (CA), others have their own approval processes.