BSEE Begins Rulemaking on Offshore Helideck Safety

The federal agency on Sept. 24 began a 60-day comment period on its ANPRM.

The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is accepting comments on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that concerns the safety of helideck and aviation fuel operations on fixed offshore facilities. The ANPRM asks whether BSEE should incorporate in its regulations certain industry and international standards for the design, construction, and maintenance of offshore helidecks, as well as standards for aviation fuel quality, storage, and handling.

"We know that transportation accidents account for the majority of fatalities on the OCS, and that helicopter-related accidents are a significant concern," said BSEE Director Brian Salerno. "We are looking at our regulations to ensure that the aviation related areas over which we have jurisdiction have the benefit of rigorous safety standards."

The ANPRM cites an April 2013 report by CDC that the leading cause of worker fatalities in the offshore oil and gas extraction industry from 2003 to 2010 involved transportation to and from rigs; there were 128 deaths during the period, and 49 of them resulted from 17 helicopter accidents.

The agency also seeks information about past incidents and accidents.

Publication of the ANPRM began a 60-day comment period. To comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search by BSEE-2014-0001.

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