HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading provider of professional assurance services LRQA recently received accreditation by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS) to conduct safety and environmental management systems (SEMS) audits.
This full accreditation enables LRQA to evaluate the effectiveness of SEMS implementation for offshore oil and gas operators, contractors, service providers, manufacturers and suppliers. As an Audit Service Provider (ASP), LRQA is one of only five fully accredited companies that currently meets these COS standards and is the first to achieve this accreditation under the SEMS II requirements.
The purpose of the SEMS program is to enhance the safety and environmental protection of offshore oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). SEMS was revised in June 2011 to add additional safety requirements to include requiring an audit be led by an independent ASP. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Information To Lessees (ITL) on June 8, 2015 requires SEMS audits be performed by a COS accredited ASP.
“LRQA is one of the leading providers of certification, training and assurance in the world. Lloyd’s Register group’s health, safety and environmental (HSE) experts’ specific understanding of HSE best practice and regulations enable us to add value to support our clients in their efforts to mitigate and manage their HSE risks. When it comes to offshore safety, this is absolutely critical,” said Chris Koci, President of LRQA, Inc.
LRQA received SEMS accreditation by COS on May 3, 2016, enabling LRQA to become a leading third-party ASP. LRQA had received provisional accreditation on Oct. 9, 2015. To become accredited, LRQA’s first audit of an independent offshore operator was observed by the COS. Accreditation is renewed every three years with annual assessments by COS to ensure all ASP audit programs continue to meet program requirements and expectations.
To support the COS mission of promoting continual safety improvement in offshore operations, the COS developed the key requirement of using third-party auditing of companies’ SEMS. The COS was recognized by BSEE in June 2015 to serve as the oil and gas industry Accreditation Body (AB) for purposes of qualifying independent, third-party ASPs to perform credible, objective and comprehensive evaluations of operators’ SEMS programs. An effective SEMS program requires a ‘risk management’ approach to managing all aspects of offshore operations. From planning and design to decommissioning, SEMS audits should focus on the implementation and effectiveness of the system all the way down to the task level.
“While documentation is important to the audit, it should focus on other evidence such as interviews and observations. While opportunities for improvement may be identified during an audit, the real management commitment comes in with the implementation of the corrective/ preventive action process,” said Brady Austin, Lloyd’s Register Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) Service Line Owner. “The regulator has stated many times at various conferences that they are focusing on what a company does to improve, not so much on the identified opportunities for improvement.”
The information gained from COS member company SEMS audits is shared within the oil and gas industry to continually improve safety and environmental practices and reduce potential incidents in U.S. waters. The company specific information is scrubbed prior to sending to the COS, whom then develops industry metrics to help drive continual improvement.
“With an extensive in-house skill set and expertise, we can provide some of the most competent, experienced and qualified auditors and subject matter experts in the industry,” said Austin. “We will create a comprehensive audit plan that includes an assessment of how our clients meet or exceed applicable regulatory requirements. LRQA’s SEMS audits will give our clients valuable insight to proactively improve their management systems, helping ensure safer and more efficient operations for the Gulf of Mexico, East Coast, West Coast and Alaska.”
Since 1985, LRQA specialises in management systems compliance and expert advice across a broad spectrum of standards, schemes and customised assurance programmes with recognition from more than 50 accreditation bodies around the world. In addition to the Energy industry, LRQA operates in all of the world’s main sectors.
As a separate business stream, LR Energy will continue to provide its expertise in offshore safety and regulations to help companies with their training and consultation services for SEMS. Additional information about those courses and training are available at: http://www.lr.org/en/energy/drilling/safety-and-environmental-management-systems.
BSEE requires SEMS audits for OCS operators or lessees every three years by a certified ASP. In addition, many operators and OCS lessees are now starting to request their contractors have certified SEMS audits. To schedule your SEMS audit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Founded in 1760 as a marine classification society, LR now operates across many industry sectors, with over 9,000 employees in 78 countries.
About LR Management Systems (LRQA)
LRQA is a member of the Lloyd’s Register group. LRQA is a leading independent provider of professional assurance services including assessment, certification, validation, verification and training across a broad spectrum of standards, schemes and customised assurance programmes.