All onshore petroleum proposals (proposals) in Western Australia (WA) are assessed by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967.
Petroleum operators must submit an Environment Plan, Safety Management System, and Well Management Plan to DMIRS for each proposed activity. Proposals may also require assessment by and approvals from other government agencies.
To ensure safety risks are responsibly managed during each stage of activity, DMIRS requires operators to implement best practice management measures and demonstrate risks will be managed to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ (ALARP).
Safety Regulations cover all safety risks which may occur at surface level.
The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Management of Safety) Regulations 2010 (the regulations) require that all petroleum activities have an approved Safety Management System (SMS).
SMS is a detailed, legally binding management document, assessed by DMIRS, which must identify:
- Causes and consequences of hazards and major accident events and their associated risks
- The selection of strategies and measures to control and mitigate risks.
Reporting and monitoring
DMP inspectors appointed under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 and Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 conduct rigorous safety compliance audits and inspections of petroleum activities in WA. These audits and inspections ensure activities are conducted in accordance with the approved SMS and that best practice management is being implemented.
Further to the above, it is a legislative requirement of all petroleum operators in WA to self-audit their activities to ensure safety impacts and risks are managed appropriately and are continuously reduced as ‘low as reasonably practicable’.
Reporting of accidents
Operators are required to inform DMIRS of an accident or dangerous occurrence as soon as it happens. Following this, the operator must undertake an investigation into the incident and report the outcomes of the investigation to the department.
Where required, DMIRS also undertakes independent investigations and provides recommendations to the operator.
Risk management requirements
|Evidence of ‘as
low as reasonably
For more information check out What is RADARS?