Authorization and Oversight Activities

Throughout the lifecycle of an offshore project, we conduct monitoring and enforcement activities to ensure regulatory compliance.

Operators must maintain their commitments, including meeting all conditions we’ve put in place. Workplace parties have legislated responsibilities as well and our safety officers interact directly with other employers, supervisors, service providers, employees and workplace committees to ensure compliance and to promote workplace safety culture.

We carry out monitoring and compliance activities, which includes conducting workplace audits and inspections, investigations, meeting regularly with operator representatives and reviewing information such as daily, monthly, quarterly and end of program reports, incident reports and workplace committee minutes.

Learn more about our Monitoring and Compliance program here.

Get to know our Operations/Health, Safety and Environment Team.


Safety Culture Operators promote a proactive safety culture to keep workplaces safe and healthy. Learn more here.

The legislation sets minimum requirements for offshore health and safety and is written to promote proactive practices, and to empower workplaces where everyone has responsibilities to keep the workplaces safe and healthy. Operators have the ultimate responsibility of implementing and maintaining an occupational health and safety management system. The occupational health and safety management system should foster a culture of workplace safety and specifically address the operations or activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area.

Safety culture was first referenced in an offshore context in the inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster, which occurred over 30 years ago. Today safety culture continues to be recognized as a determining factor in health and safety outcomes. We have developed a safety culture framework with the Canada Energy Regulator and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to promote a shared understanding of safety culture. It is our expectation that the operators we regulate build and sustain a positive organizational safety culture, while continually examining their organization for potential threats.

More information on safety culture and our collaborative efforts with other government departments and agencies can be found here:




Health and Safety Management SystemsOperators are responsible to implement and maintain a comprehensive health and safety management system. Learn more here.

Operator’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System

Operators must submit supporting documents for our review that demonstrates they have a health and safety management system in place that meets our regulatory requirements. This includes having a safety plan which highlights all the necessary steps that are taken to ensure the health, safety and security of offshore workers on a marine installation or structure, vessel, aircraft, or support craft associated with the specific offshore activity or project. This assessment is completed before an authorization can be granted and helps us to determine the readiness of an operator to conduct activities in a safe, responsible and compliant manner.

Our experts have developed a joint Safety Plan Guidelines with the Canada Energy Regulator and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to assist operators in meeting legislative requirements and associated regulations. The Safety Plan Guidelines provide our expectations for industry in meeting the statutory requirements. When reviewing an Operator Safety Plan, we ensure an operator’s written policies, programs and procedures focus on:

  • Authorities/command structure
  • Risk assessment
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Training and qualifications
  • Contingency planning
  • Physical environment monitoring

If an operator is not able to provide the required health and safety documents and demonstrate to us that they are able to conduct the work safely, they will not be granted an authorization to work in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. If an authorization is accepted, the operator must continue to demonstrate to us that the accepted safety management system effectively identifies, assesses and controls health and safety hazards throughout the lifecycle of a project.

Although prevention is the primary focus, operators must, just as importantly, prove that they are prepared and able to respond quickly and effectively to an incident of any size, should one occur.

Health and Safety ResourcesView materials related to health and safety standards and practices that we follow. Learn more here.

Health and Safety Publications

Safety Culture (Information National Energy Board website)

Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Standard Practice for the Training and Qualifications of Offshore Personnel  (Code of Practice) 

TQC Slide Deck Consultation on 2020 Edition of the Standard Practice

Transportation of Employees by Helicopter to or from a Workplace in the Offshore Petroleum Industry – East Coast Canada (2020)

Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Industry Safe Lifting Practice Respecting the Design, Operation and Maintenance of Materials Handling Equipment (2020)

International Associations

International Regulators' Forum (IRF)

International Offshore Petroleum Environmental Regulators (IOPER)

Regional Regulators

Canada Energy Regulator (CER) - Canada

Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB)

Civil Aviation - Transport Canada (TCCA)

Marine Safety - Transport Canada

International Regulators

Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment (ASEA) - Mexico

Brazilian National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) - Brazil

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) - United States

Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) - Ireland

Danish Working Environment Authority (DWEA) - Denmark

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - United Kingdom

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (NOPSEMA)

State Supervision of Mines (SSM) - Netherlands

Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) - Norway

WorkSafe NZ - New Zealand

Industry Associations

Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC)

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC)

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)

Helicopter Operations Safety Committee (HOSC)


International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC)

International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP)

International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC)

Other Useful Links *

Comparison Between Rigid Climbing Aids and Rope Scramble Nets in the Effectiveness of Rescue Operations

Job Demands Analysis – Fast Rescue Craft Water Rescue

Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB)

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC)

Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Industry Escape, Evacuation and Rescue Guide

IOGP Report 594 - Source Control Emergency Response Planning Guide for Subsea Wells

DROPS Calculator

Drone Safety

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)


Risk Assessments and Contingency PlansOperators must thoroughly assess potential hazards and have well thought out contingency plans to mitigate the consequences of events that pose a threat to the health and safety of employees. Learn more here.

We require operators to conduct risk assessments and submit contingency plans to address emergency situations. Operators must identify and manage hazards, potential situations and events that may occur in order to be prepared for an emergency. We must accept these plans before we can issue an Activity Authorization.

Contingency plans include measures to prevent, mitigate and respond to emergencies. We review the plans submitted by operators to ensure that they include items such as the duties and responsibilities of personnel, medical support, communications equipment/facilities, reporting and notification procedures, and the appropriate contact information for responders and identified stakeholders. In addition, operators must test their contingency plans regularly to ensure effectiveness. As part of our oversight, we observe or participate in some of these simulations, to evaluate an operator’s emergency procedures, preparedness and response.

Learn more about an Operator’s Prevention and Preparedness efforts.