Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

Link to law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/1996/228/made/data.htm?wrap=true
Published: 1996-06-07

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
1996 No. 228

HEALTH AND SAFETY
Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

Made
7th June 1996

Coming into operation
21st July 1996

The Department of Economic Development, being the Department concerned(1), in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Articles 17(1) to (6) and 55(2) of, and paragraphs 1(1) and (2), 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12(1) and (3), 13, 14(1), 15, 17 and 19 of Schedule 3 to, the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978(2) (“the 1978 Order”) and Article 3(2) of the Offshore, and Pipelines, Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1992(3) and of every other power enabling it in that behalf, after consultation in accordance with Article 46(1) of the 1978 Order with the Health and Safety Agency for Northern Ireland and such other bodies as appeared to the Department to be appropriate, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Part IInterpretation and General

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 and shall come into operation on 21st July 1996.

Interpretation

2.—(1) In these Regulations—

“the 1993 Regulations” means the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993(4);

“the 1995 Regulations” means the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(5);

“concession owner”, in relation to a well, means the person who at any time has the right to exploit or explore mineral resources in any area or to store gas in any area and to recover gas so stored if, at that time, the well is, or is to be, used in the exercise of that right;

“the Department” means the Department of Economic Development;

“duty holder”, in relation to an installation, means the person who is the duty holder as defined by regulation 2(1) of the 1995 Regulations in relation to that installation;

“environmental conditions” means—

(a)
meteorological and oceanographic conditions; and

(b)
properties and configuration of the sea-bed and subsoil;

“fixed installation” means an installation other than a mobile installation;

“installation” means an offshore installation within the meaning of regulation 3, except sub-paragraphs (a) and (b), and paragraph (ii) of sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (3), of the 1995 Regulations;

“integrity” means structural soundness and strength, stability and, in the case of a floating installation, buoyancy insofar as they are relevant to the health and safety of persons;

“management system” means the organisation and arrangements established by a person for managing his undertaking;

“mobile installation” means an installation (other than a floating production platform) which can be moved from place to place without major dismantling or modification, whether or not it has its own motive power;

“safety case” means a document described in regulation 2(2) of the 1993 Regulations which is required to be prepared pursuant to a provision of those Regulations;

“stand-by vessel”, “territorial waters” and “vessel” have the same respective meanings as in regulation 2(1) of the 1995 Regulations;

“traffic route” means a route for pedestrians, vehicles or both and includes any stairs, staircase, fixed ladder, doorway, gateway, loading bay or ramp;

“well” means—

(a)
a well, made by drilling; and

(b)
a borehole drilled with a view to the extraction of minerals through it or another well,

and shall be deemed to include any device on it for containing the pressure in it;

“well intervention operation” means an operation in which a well is re-entered for a purpose other than to continue drilling or to maintain or repair it;

“well-operator”, in relation to a well, means the person appointed by the concession owner for a well to execute the function of organising and supervising all operations to be carried out by means of such well or, where no such person has been appointed, the concession owner;

“workover operation” means an operation in which a well is re-entered for the purpose of maintaining or repairing it; and

“workplace” means any workroom or other place on an installation used mainly for the performance of work, and does not include a traffic route.

(2) Any reference in these Regulations to operating an installation is a reference to using it for any of the purposes described in regulation 3(1) of the 1995 Regulations.

(3) Where a duty holder, in relation to an installation, or a well-operator, is succeeded by a new duty holder or well-operator, anything done in compliance with these Regulations by the former duty holder or operator in relation to the installation or the well shall, for the purpose of these Regulations, be treated as having been done by his successor.

(4) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person shall be deemed to be engaged in diving operations throughout any period from the time when he commences to prepare for diving until the time when—

(a)he is no longer subjected to raised pressure;

(b)he has normal inert gas partial pressure in his tissues; and

(c)if he entered the water, he has left it,

and diving operations include the activity of any person in connection with the health and safety of a person who is, or is deemed to be, engaged in diving operations.

Application

3.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), within territorial waters these Regulations shall apply to and in relation to—

(a)any installation and any activity on it;

(b)any activity, including diving operations, in connection with an installation, or any activity which is immediately preparatory thereto, whether carried on from the installation itself, on or from a vessel or in any other manner, other than—

(i)transporting, towing or navigating the installation; and

(ii)any activity on or from a vessel being used as a stand-by vessel;

(c)diving operations involving the survey and preparation of the sea bed for an installation; and

(d)a well and any activity in connection with it and an activity which is immediately preparatory to any such activity.

(2) Paragraph (1)(d) includes keeping a vessel on station for the purpose of working on a well but otherwise does not include navigation or an activity connected with navigation.

(3) These Regulations shall apply to a well in that part of Northern Ireland which does not comprise territorial waters, and activities in relation to it, only if—

(a)it is drilled from an installation; or

(b)it is drilled with a view to the extraction of petroleum.

(4) In paragraph (3) “petroleum” means any mineral oil or relative hydrocarbon and natural gas existing in its natural condition in strata, but does not include coal or bituminous shales or other stratified deposits from which oil can be extracted by destructive distillation.

Part IIIntegrity of Installations

General duty

4.—(1) The duty holder shall ensure that an installation at all times possesses such integrity as is reasonably practicable.

(2) The provisions of regulations 5 to 10 are without prejudice to the generality of the requirement in paragraph (1).

Design of an installation

5.—(1) The duty holder shall ensure that the designs to which an installation is to be or in the event is constructed are such that, so far as is reasonably practicable—

(a)it can withstand such forces acting on it as are reasonably foreseeable;

(b)its layout and configuration, including those of its plant, will not prejudice its integrity;

(c)fabrication, transportation, construction, commissioning, operation, modification, maintenance and repair of the installation may proceed without prejudicing its integrity;

(d)it may be decommissioned and dismantled safely; and

(e)in the event of reasonably foreseeable damage to the installation it will retain sufficient integrity to enable action to be taken to safeguard the health and safety of persons on or near it.

(2) The duty holder shall ensure that an installation is composed of materials which are—

(a)suitable, having regard to the requirement in regulation 4; and

(b)so far as is reasonably practicable, sufficiently proof against or protected from anything liable to prejudice its integrity.

Work to an installation

6.  The duty holder shall ensure that work of fabrication, construction, commissioning, modification, maintenance and repair of an installation, and activity in preparation for the positioning of an installation, are carried out in such a way that, so far as is reasonably practicable, its integrity will be ensured.

Operation of an installation

7.—(1) The duty holder shall ensure that the installation is not operated in such a way as may prejudice its integrity.

(2) The duty holder shall ensure that the installation is not operated unless—

(a)appropriate limits within which it is to be operated; and

(b)the environmental conditions in which it may safely operate,

have been recorded.

(3) The duty holder shall ensure that a record of the matters described in paragraph (2) is kept on the installation, readily available to any person involved in its operation.

(4) The duty holder shall ensure that the matters described in paragraph (2) are reviewed as often as may be appropriate.

Maintenance of integrity

8.—(1) The duty holder shall ensure that suitable arrangements are in place for maintaining the integrity of the installation, including suitable arrangements for—

(a)periodic assessment of its integrity; and

(b)the carrying out of remedial work in the event of damage or deterioration which may prejudice its integrity.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply—

(a)to a fixed installation while its structure is not yet established at the location at which it is to be operated; or

(b)to a mobile installation under construction which is not yet able to be moved.

Reporting of danger to an installation

9.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the duty holder shall ensure that, within 10 days after the appearance of evidence of a significant threat to the integrity of an installation, a report is made to the Department in writing identifying such threat and specifying any action taken or to be taken to avert it.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to anything of which the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1986(6) require a report to be made.

Decommissioning and dismantlement

10.  The duty holder shall ensure that an installation is decommissioned and dismantled in such a way that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it will possess sufficient integrity to enable such decommissioning and dismantlement to be carried out safely.

Part IIIFurther Requirements Relating to Installations

Helicopter landing area

11.  The duty holder shall ensure that every helicopter landing area forming part of an installation—

(a)is large enough, and has sufficient clear approach and departure paths, to enable any helicopter intended to use the landing area safely to land thereon and to take off therefrom in any wind and weather conditions permitting helicopter operations; and

(b)is otherwise of a design and construction adequate for its purpose.

Additional requirements

12.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the duty holder shall ensure that the additional requirements set out in Schedule 1 are complied with in relation to an installation, while it is in use, unless in the case of any such requirement it would not prejudice the health, safety or welfare of any person if it were not complied with.

(2) While there are persons on a fixed installation which is—

(a)being completed at the place where it is to be operated; or

(b)being decommissioned or dismantled,

the duty holder shall ensure that such of the requirements contained in Schedule 1 are complied with, and to such extent, as is reasonably practicable in the circumstances.

(3) In the case of an installation which was commissioned before the coming into operation of these Regulations, it shall be sufficient compliance with paragraph (1) where the additional requirements are complied with in each case as soon as possible and no later than 3rd November 1999.

(4) The requirements contained in this regulation shall apply without prejudice to the requirements of the other relevant statutory provisions relating to the installation.

Part IVWells

General duty

13.—(1) The well-operator shall ensure that a well is so designed, modified, commissioned, constructed, equipped, operated, maintained, suspended and abandoned that—

(a)so far as is reasonably practicable, there can be no unplanned escape of fluids from the well; and

(b)risks to the health and safety of persons from it or anything in it, or in strata to which it is connected, are as low as is reasonably practicable.

(2) The provisions of regulations 14 to 19 and 21 are without prejudice to the generality of the requirements of paragraph (1) save that, where regulation 17(2) places a duty on the duty holder for an installation, the well-operator is not under the same duty.

Assessment of conditions below ground

14.—(1) Before the design of a well is commenced the well-operator shall cause—

(a)the geological strata and formations, and fluids within them, through which it may pass; and

(b)any hazards which such strata and formations may contain,

to be assessed.

(2) The well-operator shall ensure that account is taken of the assessment required by paragraph (1) when the well is being designed and constructed.

(3) The well-operator shall ensure that, while an operation (including the drilling of the well) is carried out in relation to the well, those matters described in paragraph (1)(a) and (b) shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be kept under review and that, if any change is observed in those matters, such modification is made, where appropriate, to—

(a)the design and construction of the well; or

(b)any procedures,

as is necessary to ensure that the purposes described in regulation 13(1) will continue to be fulfilled.

Design with a view to suspension and abandonment

15.  The well-operator shall ensure that a well is so designed and constructed that, so far as is reasonably practicable—

(a)it can be suspended or abandoned in a safe manner; and

(b)after its suspension or abandonment there can be no unplanned escape of fluids from it or from the reservoir to which it led.

Materials

16.  The well-operator shall ensure that every part of a well is composed of material which is suitable for achieving the purposes described in regulation 13(1).

Well control

17.—(1) Before an operation in relation to a well (including the drilling of a well) is begun elsewhere than at a borehole site to which the Borehole Sites and Operations Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(7) apply, the well-operator shall ensure that suitable well control equipment is provided for use during such operations to protect against blowouts.

(2) In the case of an operation to which paragraph (1) applies which is begun—

(a)from an installation, the duty holder; and

(b)otherwise than from an installation, the well-operator,

shall ensure that equipment provided pursuant to paragraph (1) is deployed when the prevailing well and operational conditions so require.

Arrangements for examination

18.—(1) Before the design of a well is commenced or adopted the well-operator shall make and put into effect arrangements relating to the well of a kind described in paragraph (2) or (where such arrangements already have effect in relation to another well) apply such arrangements, with any appropriate modifications, to the well.

(2) The arrangements referred to in paragraph (1) are arrangements in writing for such examinations, by independent and competent persons, of any part of the well, or similar well, information, or work in progress, and the making of such reports and recommendations, as are suitable for ensuring (with the assistance of such other measures as the well-operator takes) that the well is so designed and constructed, and is maintained in such repair and condition, that—

(a)so far as is reasonably practicable, there can be no unplanned escape of fluids from the well; and

(b)risks to the health and safety of persons from it or anything in it, or in strata to which it is connected, are as low as is reasonably practicable.

(3) The well-operator shall review and revise arrangements as often as may be appropriate.

(4) The well-operator shall ensure that the arrangements, any revision of them, and reports and recommendations pursuant to them are kept at an address in Northern Ireland notified to the Department, until the expiration of six months after the arrangements and any revision of them cease to be current.

(5) In the case of a well which, at the coming into operation of these Regulations, is completed, the well-operator shall make and put into effect or (as the case may be) apply the arrangements referred to in paragraph (1) within 1 year after such coming into operation.

(6) In the case of a well, the design of which was commenced or adopted before the coming into operation of these Regulations, but which is not, at such coming into operation, completed, the well-operator shall make and put into effect or (as the case may be) apply the arrangements referred to in paragraph (1)—

(a)forthwith; or

(b)within 1 year after such coming into operation, in a case where a well consent was given not more than 1 year before such coming into operation.

(7) For the purpose of this regulation a person shall be regarded as independent only where—

(a)his examination will not involve the consideration by him of an aspect, of a thing liable to be examined, for which he bears or has borne such responsibility as might compromise his objectivity; and

(b)he will be sufficiently independent of a management system, or of a part thereof, which bears or has borne any responsibility for an aspect, which he might consider, of a thing liable to be examined, to ensure that he will be objective in discharging his function.

(8) In this regulation “well consent” means a consent in writing to the commencement of drilling of the well—

(a)of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry required by clause 19(1) of the model clauses contained in Schedule 4 to the Petroleum (Production) (Seaward Areas) Regulations 1988(8);

(b)of the Department required by clause 12(1) of the model clauses contained in Schedule 2 to the Petroleum (Production) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(9),

in a case where the clause is, pursuant to the relevant Regulations, incorporated in a licence.

Provision of drilling etc. information

19.—(1) Where an operation to which this paragraph applies is being carried out on a well the well-operator shall cause to be sent to the Department, at such intervals as may be agreed or, failing agreement, at intervals of one week calculated from its commencement, a report comprising the following information—

(a)the identifying number, and any slot number, of the well;

(b)the name of any installation or vessel involved;

(c)a summary of the activity in the course of the operation since its commencement, or the previous report;

(d)the diameter and true vertical and measured depths of—

(i)any hole drilled; and

(ii)any casing installed;

(e)the drilling fluid density immediately before making the report; and

(f)in the case of an existing well, its current operational state.

(2) Paragraph (1) applies to—

(a)a drilling operation;

(b)a workover operation;

(c)an abandonment operation;

(d)an operation consisting in the completion of a well;

(e)any other operation of a kind involving substantial risk of the unplanned escape of fluids from a well.

Co-operation

20.  Every person who is, or is to be concerned (in whatever capacity) in an operation in relation to a well (including the drilling of a well) shall co-operate with the well-operator so far as is necessary to enable him to discharge his duties under regulations 13(1) and 17.

Information, instruction, training and supervision

21.  In the case of a drilling, well intervention or workover operation to be carried out on a well—

(a)from an installation, the duty holder; and

(b)otherwise than from an installation, the well-operator,

shall ensure that the operation is not carried out, unless it is carried on in circumstances where the persons carrying out the operation have received such information, instruction and training, and are being so supervised, that the risk to health and safety from such operation is reduced to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.

Part VMiscellaneous

Defence

22.—(1) In any proceedings for an offence for a contravention of any of the provisions of regulations 5 and 6 it shall, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), be a defence for the person charged to prove—

(a)that the commission of the offence was due to the act or default of another person not being one of his employees (hereinafter called “the other person”); and

(b)that he took all reasonable precautions, and exercised all due diligence, to avoid the commission of the offence.

(2) The person charged shall not, without the leave of the court, be entitled to rely on the defence in paragraph (1) unless, within a period ending seven days before the hearing, he has served on the prosecutor a notice in writing giving such information identifying or assisting in the indentification of the other person as was then in his possession.

(3) For the purpose of enabling the other person to be charged with and convicted of the offence by virtue of Article 34 of the 1978 Order, a person who establishes a defence under this regulation shall nevertheless be treated for the purposes of that Article as having committed the offence.

Certificates of exemption

23.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to any of the provisions imposed by the Communities in respect of the encouragement of improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, the Department may, by a certificate in writing, exempt any person, installation, well or class of persons, installations or wells from any requirement or prohibition imposed by these Regulations and any such exemption may be granted subject to conditions and with or without limit of time and may be revoked by a certificate in writing at any time.

(2) The Department shall not grant any such exemption unless, having regard to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to—

(a)the conditions, if any, which it proposes to attach to the exemption; and

(b)any other requirements imposed by or under any statutory provisions which apply to the case,

it is satisfied that the health and safety of persons who are likely to be affected by the exemption will not be prejudiced in consequence of it.

Transitional provision

24.—(1) Where, at the coming into operation of these Regulations, a Certificate of Fitness in relation to an installation is in force or such Certificate has been applied for, the provisions of the 1974 Regulations shall (notwithstanding their revocation by regulation 27 and Schedule 3) be deemed to remain in force in relation to that installation, with the modifications contained in paragraph (2), until—

(a)the expiration of any Certificate of Fitness without its having been renewed; or

(b)the expiration of two years from the coming into operation of these Regulations,

whichever first occurs.

(2) The 1974 Regulations shall be deemed, for the purpose of paragraph (1), to be modified—

(a)in regulation 11(3) of those Regulations by inserting, after the words “that Regulation”, the words “and not exceeding two years from the coming into operation of the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996”;

(b)by substituting, for any reference to the “owner”, a reference to the person who is the duty holder within the meaning of these Regulations; and

(c)by treating those Regulations for purposes of enforcement (but not of interpretation) as if they were set out herein.

(3) In this Regulation—

“the 1974 Regulations” means the Offshore Installations (Construction and Survey) Regulations 1974(10);

“Certificate of Fitness” and “Certifying Authority” have the same meaning as in the 1974 Regulations.

Repeal of section 3 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971

25.  Section 3 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971(11) is hereby repealed.

Modifications of statutory provisions

26.—(1) The 1993 Regulations shall have effect subject to the modifications specified in Schedule 2.

(2) In regulation 2 of the 1995 Regulations—

(a)in paragraph (1) after the definition of “relevant waters” there shall be inserted the following definition—

‘ “stand-by vessel” means a vessel which is ready to give assistance in the event of an emergency on or near an offshore installation;';

(b)after paragraph (3) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

“(4) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person shall be deemed to be engaged in diving operations throughout any period from the time when he commences to prepare for diving until the time when—

(a)he is no longer subjected to raised pressure;

(b)he has normal inert gas partial pressure in his tissues; and

(c)if he entered the water, he has left it,

and diving operations include the activity of any person in connection with the health and safety of a person who is, or is deemed to be, engaged in diving operations.”.

(3) Regulation 2 of the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(12) shall be renumbered “2.—(1)”, and after that paragraph there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

“(2) For the purposes of these Regulations, any structures and devices on top of a well shall be treated as forming part of the well.

(3) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person shall be deemed to be engaged in diving operations throughout any period from the time when he commences to prepare for diving until the time when—

(a)he is no longer subjected to raised pressure;

(b)he has normal inert gas partial pressure in his tissues; and

(c)if he entered the water, he has left it,

and diving operations include the activity of any person in connection with the health and safety of a person who is, or is deemed to be, engaged in diving operations.”.

(4) In regulation 2 (now 2(1)) of the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995, in the definition of “pipeline”, “pipeline works,”, “territorial waters” and “vessel”, after the words “pipeline works,” there shall be inserted the words “stand-by vessel,”.

Revocation

27.  The instruments specified in column 1 of Schedule 3 are hereby revoked to the extent specified in column 3 of that Schedule.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Economic Development on .

L.S.
Philip B. Strong
Assistant Secretary
7th June 1996

Regulation 12

SCHEDULE 1Additional requirements

Organisation of the installation

1.  The layout and configuration of an installation, including its plant, shall be such that risks to persons on it are reduced to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.

2.  An installation shall be kept sufficiently clean, with any hazardous substances or deposits removed or controlled in order not to endanger the health and safety of persons on the installation.

3.  Arrangements shall exist for the collection at source and removal, in such a way that persons are not at risk, of harmful substances which could accumulate in the atmosphere.

4.  Workstations must be designed and constructed with a view to the safety and ease of action of persons at work, taking into account the need for them to carry out activities there.

Ventilation of enclosed workplaces

5.  A supply of fresh or purified air shall be maintained in enclosed workplaces which is sufficient, having regard to the working methods used and the physical demands placed on the persons at work.

6.  If a mechanical ventilation system is used, it must be maintained in working order. Any breakdown must be indicated by a control system where this is necessary for the health of persons on the installation.

7.  If air-conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems are used, they must operate in such a way that persons are not exposed to draughts which cause discomfort.

8.  Any deposit or dirt likely to create an immediate danger to the health of persons by polluting the atmosphere must be removed without delay.

Room temperature

9.  During working hours, the temperature in enclosed workplaces must be reasonable, having regard to the working methods being used and the physical demands placed on the persons at work.

10.  The temperature in rest areas, changing rooms, rooms containing facilities for washing, lavatories, mess-rooms, galleys and sick bays must be appropriate to the particular purpose of such areas.

11.  Sunlight let into workplaces via any window or skylight shall not be excessive, having regard to the nature of the work and the workplace.

Floors, walls and ceilings of rooms

12.  The floors of workplaces must have no dangerous bumps, holes or slopes and must be fixed, stable and not made of material which is or is liable to become slippery.

13.  Enclosed workplaces must be adequately insulated against heat, bearing in mind the type of undertaking involved and the physical activity of the persons at work.

14.  The surfaces of floors, walls and ceilings in rooms must be such that they can be cleaned or refurbished to an appropriate standard of hygiene.

Transparent or translucent surfaces

15.  Every window or other transparent or translucent surface in a wall or partition and every transparent or translucent surface in a door or gate shall, where necessary for reasons of health and safety—

(a)be of safety material or be protected against breakage of the transparent or translucent material; and

(b)be appropriately marked or incorporate features so as, in either case, to make it apparent.

Roofs

16.  Access to roofs made of materials of insufficient strength must not be permitted unless equipment is provided to ensure that the work can be carried out in a safe manner.

Natural and artificial lighting

17.  Every workplace must be provided throughout with lighting capable of supplying illumination sufficient to ensure the health and safety of persons therein.

18.  Workplaces must, as far as possible, receive sufficient natural light and be equipped, taking into account climatological conditions, with artificial lighting adequate for the protection of safety and health.

19.  Lighting installations in workplaces and in passageways must be placed in such a way that the type of lighting does not present a risk of accident.

20.  Workplaces in which persons are especially exposed to risks in the event of failure of artificial lighting must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity.

Windows and skylights

21.  Windows, skylights and ventilation devices which are meant to be opened, adjusted or secured must be designed so that these operations can be carried out safely. They must not be positioned so as to constitute a hazard when open.

22.  It must be possible to clean windows and skylights without undue risk.

Doors and gates

23.  The position, number and dimensions of doors and gates and the materials used in their construction shall be determined by reference to the nature of and use of the rooms or areas.

24.  Transparent doors must be appropriately marked at a conspicuous level.

25.  Swing doors and gates must be transparent or have see-through panels.

26.  Sliding doors must be fitted with a safety device to prevent them from being derailed and falling back unexpectedly.

27.  Doors and gates opening upwards must be fitted with a mechanism to secure them against falling back unexpectedly.

28.  Doors for pedestrians must be provided in the immediate vicinity of any gates intended essentially for vehicle traffic, unless it is safe for pedestrians to pass through; such doors must be clearly marked and left permanently unobstructed.

29.  Power-operated doors and gates must function without risk of accident to workers. They must be fitted with easily identifiable and accessible emergency shutdown devices and, in the event of a power failure, it must be possible to operate them by hand.

30.  When chains or similar devices are used to prevent access at any place, these should be clearly visible and appropriately identified by signs denoting any prohibitions or warning.

Traffic routes

31.  It must be possible to reach workplaces without danger and leave them quickly and safely in an emergency.

32.  Traffic routes must be sufficient in number, in suitable positions, and of sufficient size to ensure easy, safe and appropriate access for pedestrians or vehicles in such a way as not to endanger persons at work in the vicinity of these traffic routes, having regard to the number of potential users and the type of undertaking.

33.  If means of transport are used on traffic routes, a sufficient safety clearance must be provided for pedestrians.

34.  Sufficient clearance must be allowed between vehicle traffic routes and doors, gates, passages for pedestrians, corridors and staircases.

35.  Traffic routes must be clearly identified for the protection of persons.

Danger areas

36.  If the workplaces contain danger areas in which, owing to the nature of the work, there are risks including that of the worker or objects falling, the places must be equipped, as far as possible, with devices preventing unauthorised workers from entering those areas.

Room dimensions and air space in rooms — freedom of movement in the workstation

37.  Enclosed workplaces must have sufficient surface area, height and air space to allow workers to perform their work without risk to their safety, health or welfare.

38.  The dimensions of the unoccupied area at the workstation must allow workers sufficient freedom of movement and enable them to perform their work safely.

Rest rooms

39.  Where the safety or health of workers, in particular because of the type of activity carried out, or the presence of more than a certain number of workers, so requires, workers must be provided with an easily accessible rest room.

40.  Paragraph 39 does not apply if the workers are employed in offices or similar workplaces providing equivalent relaxation during breaks.

41.  Rest rooms must be large enough and equipped with an adequate number of tables and seats with backs for the number of workers.

42.  If working hours are regularly and frequently interrupted and there is no rest room, other rooms must be provided in which workers can stay during such interruptions, wherever this is required for the safety or health of workers.

43.  Appropriate measures should be taken for the protection of non-smokers in the rooms referred to in paragraphs 41 and 42 against discomfort caused by tobacco smoke.

Outdoor workplaces

44.  Workstations, traffic routes and other areas outdoors which are used or occupied by the workers in the course of their work must be organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely.

45.  Workplaces outdoors must be adequately lit by artificial lighting if daylight is not adequate.

46.  When workers are employed at workstations outdoors, such workstations must as far as possible be arranged so that workers—

(a)are protected against inclement weather conditions and, if necessary, against falling objects;

(b)are not exposed to harmful noise levels;

(c)are able to leave their workstations swiftly in the event of danger or are able to be rapidly assisted; and

(d)cannot slip or fall.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers

47.  Pregnant women and nursing mothers must be able to lie down to rest in appropriate conditions.

People with disabilities

48.  The arrangement of an installation shall take due account of the health, safety and welfare of any persons with disabilities who may work on it.

Sanitary facilities

49.  Appropriate changing rooms must be provided for workers if they have to wear special work clothes and where, for reasons of health or propriety, they cannot be expected to change in another room.

50.  Changing rooms must be easily accessible, be of sufficient capacity and be provided with seating.

51.  Changing rooms must be sufficiently large and have facilities to enable each worker to lock away his clothes during working hours.

52.  If circumstances so require, lockers for work clothes must be separate from those for ordinary clothes.

53.  Provision must be made to enable wet work clothes to be dried.

54.  Provision must be made for separate changing rooms or separate use of changing rooms for men and women.

55.  If changing rooms are not required under paragraph 49, each worker must be provided with a place to store his clothes.

Showers and washing facilities

56.  In addition to those facilities provided in any accommodation area, suitable showers and washing facilities must, if necessary, be provided in the vicinity of workstations.

Lavatories and washbasins

57.  In addition to those facilities provided in any accommodation, lavatories and washbasins must, if necessary, be provided in the vicinity of workstations.

58.  Provision must be made for separate lavatories or separate use of lavatories for men and women.

Accommodation

59.  If the nature, scale and duration of operations so require, persons on the installation shall be provided with accommodation which is—

(a)suitably provided with ventilation, heating and lighting;

(b)protected against noise, smells and fumes likely to be hazardous to health from other areas, and against inclement weather; and

(c)separate from any workstation and located away from dangerous areas.

60.  Accommodation must contain sufficient beds or bunks for the number of persons expected to sleep on the installation.

61.  Any room designated as sleeping accommodation—

(a)must not be overcrowded;

(b)must contain adequate space for the occupants to store their clothes; and

(c)shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be occupied only by such number of persons as is consistent with reasonable privacy and comfort, having regard to the features of the room.

62.  Accommodation must include a sufficient number of showers and washing facilities equipped with clean hot and cold running water.

63.  Showers must be sufficiently spacious to permit each worker to wash without hindrance in suitably hygienic conditions.

64.  Accommodation must be equipped with a sufficient number of lavatories and washbasins.

65.  Where there are both men and women on an installation there shall be separate—

(a)sleeping rooms;

(b)shower rooms, or provision for separate use of shower rooms; and

(c)lavatories and washbasins, or provision for separate use of lavatories and washbasins,

for men and women.

66.  Accommodation and its plant must be maintained to adequate standards of hygiene.

Noise and vibration of plant

67.—(1) Measures shall be taken to ensure that the exposure of a person on an installation to a risk to his health or safety from noise or vibration of plant shall be prevented or, where that is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.

(2) The measures required by sub-paragraph (1) shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be measures other than the provision of personal protective equipment.

Regulation 26(1)

SCHEDULE 2Modification of the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993

1.  In regulation 2 of the 1993 Regulations—

(a)in paragraph (1)—

(i)for the definition of “concession owner” there shall be substituted the following definition—

““concession owner”, in relation to a fixed installation, or to a well or proposed well, means the person who at any time has the right to exploit or explore for mineral resources in any area, or to store gas in any area and to recover gas so stored if, at that time, the installation, or, as the case may be, the well or proposed well is, or is to be, used in the exercise of that right;”;

(ii)after the definition of “major accident” there shall be inserted the following definition—

““management system” means the organisation and arrangements established by a person for managing his undertaking;”;

(iii)after the definition of “safety case”, there shall be inserted the following definition—

““safety-critical elements” means such parts of an installation and such of its plant (including computer programmes), or any part thereof—

(a)
the failure of which could cause or contribute substantially to; or

(b)
a purpose of which is to prevent, or limit the effect of,

a major accident;”; and

(b)after paragraph (7) there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

“(7A) Any reference in these Regulations to a verification scheme is a reference to a suitable written scheme for ensuring, by means described in paragraph (7B), that the safety-critical elements—

(a)are or, where they remain to be provided, will be suitable; and

(b)where they have been provided, remain in good repair and condition.

(7B) The means referred to in paragraph (7A) are—

(a)examination, including testing where appropriate, of the safety-critical elements by independent and competent persons;

(b)examination of any design, specification, certificate, CE marking or other document, marking or standard relating to those elements by such persons;

(c)examination by such persons of work in progress;

(d)the taking of appropriate action following reports by such persons;

(e)the taking of such other steps as may properly be provided for pursuant to regulation 14B and Schedule 9; and

(f)the taking of any steps incidental to the means described in sub-paragraphs (a) to (e).

(7C) For the purposes of paragraph (7B) and regulations 14A and 14C a person shall be regarded as independent only where—

(a)his function will not involve the consideration by him of an aspect, of a thing liable to be examined, for which he bears or has borne such responsibility as might compromise his objectivity; and

(b)he will be sufficiently independent of a management system, or of a part thereof, which bears or has borne any responsibility for an aspect, which he might consider, of a thing liable to be examined, to ensure that he will be objective in discharging his function.”.

2.  There shall be substituted for paragraph (4) of regulation 7 of the 1993 Regulations the following paragraph—

“(4) In this regulation, “audit” means systematic assessment of the adequacy of the management system to achieve the purpose referred to in paragraph (1)(a) carried out by persons who are sufficiently independent of the system (but who may be employed by the duty holder) to ensure that such assessment is objective.”.

3.  There shall be added to regulation 10 of the 1993 Regulations the following paragraphs—

“(5) Where an operation is to be carried out in relation to a well or proposed well by means of a vessel which is not an installation, the well-operator shall ensure that the carrying out of the operation is not commenced unless at least 21 days before its commencement he has sent to the Department a notification containing the particulars specified in Schedule 6A.

(6) Where there is a material change in any of the particulars notified pursuant to paragraph (5), the person who, at the time of that change, would have had the duty under paragraph (5) to notify those particulars, if they had been required at the time of that change, shall notify the Department of that change as soon as is practicable after that change.

(7) In this regulation “well-operator”, in relation to a well or proposed well, means the person appointed by the concession owner for the well or proposed well to execute the function of organising and supervising all operations to be carried out by means of such well or, where no such person has been appointed, the concession owner.”.

4.  After regulation 12 of the 1993 Regulations there shall be added the following regulation—

“Transitional provision relating to verification

12A.  The provisions of regulations 14A to 14D shall not apply in relation to an installation while provisions of the Offshore Installations (Construction and Survey) Regulations 1974 are deemed to remain in force in relation to that installation by virtue of regulation 24 of the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996.”.

5.  After paragraph (2) of regulation 14 of the 1993 Regulations there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

“(2A) The operator or owner of an installation shall ensure that—

(a)its verification scheme, and any modification of that scheme, and any note made pursuant to regulation 14A(1)(d) or 3(d) or regulation 14C(b), is kept, at an address in Northern Ireland notified to the Department, until the expiration of six months after such scheme or, as the case may be, modification of that scheme, has ceased to be current; and

(b)records, sufficient to show the matters described in paragraph 5 of Schedule 9, are kept at the address notified pursuant to sub-paragraph (a) until the expiration of 6 months after the scheme, pursuant to which they were compiled, has ceased to be current.”.

6.  In regulation 14(3) of the 1993 Regulations, for the words “sub-paragraphs (b), (c), (e) and (g) of paragraph (1)” there shall be substituted the words—

“paragraphs (1)(b), (c), (e) and (g) and (2A)”,

and for the word “sub-paragraphs” where it second appears there shall be substituted the word “paragraphs”.

7.  After regulation 14 of the 1993 Regulations there shall be inserted the following regulations—

“Verification schemes for safety-critical elements

14A.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the operator of a fixed installation shall, at such time before completion of the design as is identified by regulation 3(1), ensure that—

(a)a record is made of the safety-critical elements;

(b)comment on the record by an independent and competent person is invited;

(c)a verification scheme is drawn up by or in consultation with such person;

(d)a note is made of any reservation expressed by such person as to the contents of—

(i)the record; or

(ii)the scheme; and

(e)such scheme is put into effect.

(2) Where, in the case of a fixed installation, the time referred to in paragraph (1) has at the coming into operation of this regulation expired, the operator shall ensure that the installation is not operated unless the provisions of paragraph (1)(a) to (e) and regulation 14B have been complied with.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), the owner of a mobile installation shall, before the installation is moved in relevant waters with a view to its being operated there, ensure that—

(a)a record is made of the safety-critical elements;

(b)comment on the record by an independent and competent person is invited;

(c)a verification scheme is drawn up by or in consultation with such person;

(d)a note is made of any reservation expressed by such person as to the contents of—

(i)the record; or

(ii)the scheme; and

(e)such scheme is put into effect.

(4) Where, at the coming into operation of this regulation, a mobile installation is being operated, the owner shall ensure that it does not continue to be operated unless the provisions of paragraph (3)(a) to (e) and regulation 14B have been complied with.

Matters to be included in a verification scheme

14B.  A verification scheme shall provide for the matters contained in Schedule 9.

Review and revision of verification schemes

14C.  The operator, in the case of a fixed installation and the owner, in the case of a mobile installation, shall ensure that, as often as may be appropriate—

(a)the verification scheme is reviewed and, where necessary, revised or replaced by or in consultation with an independent and competent person; and

(b)a note is made of any reservation expressed by such person in the course of drawing it up.

Continuing effect of verification schemes

14D.  The operator of a fixed installation, and the owner of a mobile installation, shall ensure that effect continues to be given to its verification scheme, or any revision or replacement of it, while the installation remains in being.

Defence

14E.—(1) In any proceedings for an offence for a contravention of any of the provisions of regulations 14A to 14D it shall, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), be a defence for the person charged to prove—

(a)that the commission of the offence was due to the act or default of another person not being one of his employees (hereinafter called “the other person”); and

(b)that he took all reasonable precautions, and exercised all due diligence, to avoid the commission of the offence.

(2) The person charged shall not, without the leave of the court, be entitled to rely on the defence in paragraph (1) unless, within a period ending seven days before the hearing, he has served on the prosecutor a notice in writing giving such information identifying or assisting in the identification of the other person as was then in his possession.

(3) For the purpose of enabling the other person to be charged with and convicted of the offence by virtue of Article 34 of the 1978 Order, a person who establishes a defence under this regulation shall nevertheless be treated for the purposes of that Article as having committed the offence.”.

8.  After paragraph 9 of Schedule 2 to the 1993 Regulations there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

“9A.  A description of arrangements made for protecting persons on the installation from toxic gas at all times other than during the period described in paragraph 9.”.

9.  After paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 to the 1993 Regulations there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

“7A.  A description of arrangements made for protecting persons on the installation from toxic gas at all times other than during the period described in paragraph 7.”.

10.  In Schedule 6 to the 1993 Regulations there shall be added to the heading the words—

“from an installation”.

11.  After Schedule 6 to the 1993 Regulations there shall be added the following Schedule—

Regulation 10(5)

“SCHEDULE 6AParticulars to be included in notification of well operations from a vessel

1.  The name and address of the person notifying the particulars in this Schedule.

2.  The name of the vessel by means of which the operation is to be carried out (in this Schedule referred to as “the vessel”).

3.  Particulars of the fluids to be used to control the pressure of the well.

4.  Particulars of the type of well, its number, and slot number, and the name of any field development of which it may be part.

5.  Particulars, with scale diagrams, of—

(a)the location of the top of the well;

(b)the directional path of the well-bore;

(c)its terminal depth and location; and

(d)its position, and that of nearby wells, relative to each other.

6.  A description of the operations on the well and a programme of works which includes—

(a)the dates on which the operations are expected to commence and finish; and

(b)the intended operational state of the well at the end of the operations.

7.  A description of—

(a)any activities on or in connection with the vessel during operations on the well described pursuant to paragraph 6, which will involve any hazards with the potential to cause a major accident;

(b)such hazards.

8.  In the case of an existing well—

(a)a diagram of the well;

(b)a summary of earlier operations in relation to it;

(c)the purposes for which it has been used;

(d)its current operational state;

(e)its state of repair;

(f)the physical conditions within it; and

(g)its production capacity.

9.  Particulars of—

(a)the meteorological and oceanographic conditions to which the vessel may foreseeably be subjected;

(b)the depth of water; and

(c)the properties of the sea-bed and subsoil,

at the location at which the operations will be carried out.

10.  Sufficient particulars to demonstrate that the arrangements and procedures of the person notifying the particulars in this Schedule, and of the operator and owner of the vessel for managing the operations are co-ordinated to reduce risks from a major accident to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.”.

12.  After Schedule 8 to the 1993 Regulations there shall be added the following Schedule—

Regulation 14B

“SCHEDULE 9Matters to be provided for in a verification scheme

1.  The principles to be applied by the duty holder for the installation in selecting persons—

(a)to perform functions under the scheme; and

(b)to keep the scheme under review.

2.  Arrangements for the communication of information necessary for the proper implementation, or revision, of the scheme to the persons referred to in paragraph 1.

3.  The nature and frequency of examination and testing.

4.  Arrangements for review and revision of the scheme.

5.  The arrangements for the making and preservation of records showing—

(a)the examination and testing carried out;

(b)the findings;

(c)remedial action recommended; and

(d)remedial action performed.

6.  Arrangements for communicating the matters contained in paragraph 5(a) to (d) to an appropriate level in the management system of the duty holder for the installation.”.

Regulation 27

SCHEDULE 3Revocation

Column 1 Title

Column 2 Reference

Column 3 Extent of revocation

Offshore Installations (Construction and Survey) Regulations 1974

S.I. 1974/289

The whole Regulations.

Offshore Installations (Operational Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1976
S.I. 1976/1019

Regulations 4 and 5; in regulation 6(1) the words "without prejudice to the generality of regulation 5 above"; regulations 14 and 15; Parts I and II of Schedule 1; and Schedule 4.

Offshore Installations (Well Control) Regulations 1980
S.I. 1980/1759

The whole Regulations.

Offshore Installations (Well Control) (Amendment) Regulations 1991
S.I. 1991/308

The whole Regulations.

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

1.  These Regulations contain requirements for ensuring that offshore oil and gas installations, and oil and gas wells are designed, constructed and kept in a sound structural state, and other requirements affecting them, for purposes of health and safety.

2.  The Regulations give effect, in relation to offshore installations in United Kingdom territorial waters adjacent to Northern Ireland, to the following provisions of Council Directive 92/91/EEC (O.J. No. L348, 28.11.92, p. 9), concerning the minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers in the mineral-extracting industries through drilling (“the directive”)—

(a)Article 3.1(a) (in combination with other provision);

(b)in Part A of the Annex, parts 1, 2.1.1 (in combination with other provision), 2.1.2, 4.1 and 6.2.1 (both in combination with other provision), 8 to 13 (other than 11.5 and 13.7), 14.1 (in combination with other provision), 14.2 to 14.5, 15.1, and 16 to 20 (regulation 12 and paragraphs of Schedule 1), and part 6.2.3 (the additions made to Schedules 2 and 3 to the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 (S.R. 1993 No. 221) (“the 1993 Regulations”) by paragraphs 8 and 9 of Schedule 2, in combination with existing provisions of those Schedules);

(c)in Part C of the Annex parts 8, 10 (save the first and third indent of 10.1) (regulation 12 and paragraphs of Schedule 1), 11.1 (regulation 11) and 12.2 (regulation 6).

3.  The Regulations also give effect in combination with other provision to part 5 of Part A of the Annex to the Directive (regulation 17).

4.  Interpretation and application are dealt with in Part I (regulations 2 and 3).

5.  Part II is concerned with integrity of installations and the provisions in it impose duties on the “duty holder” for an installation (defined in regulation 2(1)) relating to—

(a)the maintenance of its integrity at all times (regulation 4);

(b)its design (regulation 5);

(c)work to it (regulation 6);

(d)the way it is operated (regulation 7);

(e)arrangements for maintaining its integrity (regulation 8);

(f)the reporting of danger to it (regulation 9); and

(g)decommissioning and dismantlement (regulation 10).

6.  Part III contains requirements relating to the helicopter landing area of an offshore installation (regulation 11) and requirements relating to its layout and facilities (regulation 12 and Schedule 1).

7.  The regulations in Part IV impose requirements affecting oil and gas wells relating to—

(a)the general reduction of risk (regulation 13);

(b)assessment of conditions below ground (regulation 14);

(c)design and construction (regulation 15);

(d)the materials used (regulation 16);

(e)well control equipment (regulation 17);

(f)arrangements for examination of the well, and information relating to it (regulation 18);

(g)the provision of information to the Department of Economic Development (“the Department”) (regulation 19);

(h)co-operation with the well-operator (regulation 20); and

(i)information, instruction, training and supervision (regulation 21).

8.  The regulations in Part V—

(a)provide a defence for contravention of regulation 5 or 6 (regulation 22);

(b)provide for the issue of certificates of exemption by the Department (regulation 23);

(c)contain transitional provision (regulation 24);

(d)repeal section 3 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 insofar as it applies to Northern Ireland (regulation 25);

(e)amend the 1993 Regulations (regulation 26(1) and Schedule 2) (apart from minor and drafting amendments)—

(i)by adding requirements for a verification scheme for safety-critical elements of an offshore installation;

(ii)by providing a defence for breach of those requirements;

(iii)by adding requirements for notification of information to the Department regarding well operations from a vessel;

(iv)by adding requirements that certain offshore installation safety cases describe arrangements for protection of people from toxic gas;

(f)make minor amendments to the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 and the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (regulation 26(2) to(4)); and

(g)revoke specified instruments (regulation 27 and Schedule 3).

9.  A person who contravenes the Regulations or any requirement or prohibition imposed thereunder is guilty of an offence under Article 31 of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (currently £5,000) or, on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(1)
See Article 2(2) of S.I. 1978/1039 (N.I. 9)

(2)
S.I. 1978/1039 (N.I. 9); the general purposes of Part II referred to in Article 17(1) were extended by Article 3(1) of the Offshore, and Pipelines, Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, S.I. 1992/1728 (N.I. 17)

(3)
S.I. 1992/1728 (N.I. 17)

(4)
S.R. 1993 No. 221 as amended by S.R. 1995 No. 340 and S.R. 1995 No. 345

(5)
S.R. 1995 No. 340

(6)
S.R. 1986 No. 247 to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations

(7)
S.R. 1995 No. 491

(8)
S.I. 1988/1213; to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations

(9)
S.R. 1987 No. 196

(10)
S.I. 1974/289 as amended by S.R. 1993 No. 384

(11)
1971 c. 61

(12)
S.R. 1995 No. 345
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