Health & Safety

The Accord Acts and its regulations are designed to promote the safety of offshore petroleum activities. In this regard, the Board ensures that petroleum activities are conducted in a manner in which hazards are properly identified, and the associated risks assessed and then appropriately mitigated and managed.

Operators must receive authorization from the Board prior to conducting any petroleum-related activity in the Nova Scotia offshore area (refer to Requirements to Operate Offshore). In support of the authorization process, the operator must submit safety-related policies and procedures for Board review. An integral component of this submission is the Operator Safety Plan. The safety plan highlights critical requirements for safety and security of operations in the offshore area. In most cases, the safety plan typically evolves as an integral component of a continuously improving management system framework.

Particular attention is dedicated to reviewing submissions to ensure that the written policies, programs, and procedures address the following items:

  • Authorities/command structure
  • Risk assessment
  • Operation & maintenance
  • Training & qualifications
  • Contingency planning
  • Physical environmental monitoring

Authorization is only granted to the operator if the safety plan is deemed acceptable by the Board. From this point on, the operator must demonstrate to the Board that the approved management system / safety plan effectively identifies, assesses, and controls risk posed to worker health and safety. The Board has in place a Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement program to assure regulatory compliance of authorized work and activities being conducted.

The Board has in place memoranda of understanding with a number of government departments and agencies for the purposes of ensuring effective coordination of activities and avoiding duplication.

The key accountabilities of the CNSOPB for health and safety of offshore workers are:

  • To advance health and safety of offshore workers;

  • To determine the readiness of operators to conduct offshore activities in a safe and compliant manner when considering authorization and approval applications from operators; and

  • To monitor operations for compliance with applicable regulatory requirements including health and safety management systems and plans, authorization and approval conditions, and operator commitments.