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BHP improves saftey performance

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25 June 1997


A comprehensive independent review, commissioned by the Hon Senator Warwick Parer, Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, has found significant safety improvements in the offshore operations of BHP Petroleum over the past twelve months.

The review has been a follow-up of the investigation last year of a number of safety incidents on BHP Petroleum’s Australian offshore facilities.

The terms of reference for this review required the consultant, Dr Tony Barrell, an international offshore safety expert, to assess BHP Petroleum's progress in implementing its safety improvement plan over the past twelve months.

"Dr Barrell has reported that BHP's progress with the program of safety improvements over the last twelve months has been excellent," Senator Parer said.

Senator Parer, advised that Mr Michael Baugh, BHP Petroleum's Regional President for Australia/Asia, had recently written to him detailing future initiatives to improve safety.

These plans included conducting independent surveys of staff perceptions of management commitment to safety; inviting the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy (DPIE) to inspect the upgrade of the Griffin Venture later this year and for DPIE to participate in an annual program of external audits of BHP Petroleum's operations.

Senator Parer stated that he was pleased with BHP Petroleum's exemplary cooperation throughout the review process. He noted that this co­ operation was a further demonstration of the constructive co-regulatory framework that has now developed between industry and government.

In addition to examining BHP Petroleum's safety upgrade, the consultant was also required to review the evidence concerning an earlier safety incident aboard BHP Petroleum's floating facility Griffin Venture on 29 May 1994. (-2)

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Senator Parer said he would be sending the report to the National Oil and Gas Safety Advisory Committee (NOGSAC).

"NOGSAC is the vehicle through which the lessons learnt from the review will be disseminated across the whole of offshore industry" he said.

Further inquiries:

Senator Parer's office Bob Baudino (06) 277 7440

DPIE Paul Butler (06) 2716632