BSEE Panel to Investigate Worker Safety Issues in Gulf of Mexico

Source: VaderSS - Wikimedia

NEW ORLEANSThe Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has established two panels to investigate two serious incidents that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico last week.

The first investigation will focus on a man-overboard/missing person incident that occurred Wednesday at Eugene Island Block 331, Platform “B”. The Renaissance Offshore LLC platform is located about 170 miles southwest of New Orleans.

The second will investigate a fatality that occurred Saturday, at Chevron’s Green Canyon Block 205, Platform “A” (Genesis) about 150 miles southwest of New Orleans.

According to BSEE Gulf of Mexico Regional Director, Lars Herbst, both incidents last week involved workers falling through platform decks to a lower elevation or to the water’s surface.

Herbst said in a news release, “We are issuing a safety alert to the industry with recommendations to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents in the future.”

A safety alert is a tool used by BSEE to inform the offshore oil and gas industry of the circumstances surrounding a potential safety issue. It also contains recommendations that help operators avoid potential similar incidents.

BSEE will work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard’s New Orleans Investigations Unit to review the information provided through interviews by the operator, the contract employees, witnesses and subject matter experts.

Investigators will also analyze evidence from forensic testing. Each panel will consist of a team of BSEE investigators, inspectors, and engineers.

The panels will issue reports with their findings regarding the causes and make recommendations on how to strengthen existing safety measures once the investigations are completed.