The Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) has launched an investigation into allegations of unsafe operations on a rig belonging to an offshore contract driller.
The agency stated that two inspectors visited the EXL II Offshore Rig, owned by ROWAN Companies, on April 2 and conducted enquiries.
A release issued by the agency stated that the action taken was consistent with its approved procedure for documenting, assigning and initiating investigations within 24 hours of the receipt of a complaint.
The release stated that, on April 1, the agency received a complaint from the chief labour relations officer of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU), via its hotline, regarding the employees on the EXL II Offshore Rig who “downed tools” on March 30 because of a series of accidents on the rig that resulted in damage to plant and injury to persons over the past two months.
It stated that the agency has been actively pursuing its statutory obligations to treat with all reported matters relative to workplace safety and health.
“In response, a safety and health inspector II contacted the chief labour relations officer of the OWTU to verify the complaint. On April 2, 2017, two inspectors visited the premises by helicopter to conduct an investigation which is still ongoing. It is to be noted that the action taken by the agency was consistent with its approved procedure for documenting, assigning and initiating investigations within 24 hours of the receipt of a complaint,” it stated.
The agency said between March 2016 and March 2017 it had conducted more than 1,100 inspections, investigated more than 400 complaints and issued 69 enforcement notices which were being closely monitored.
OSHA also initiated 50 cases in the Industrial Court within the last year.
The agency stated that OSHA had identified 800 cases of non-reporting of accidents and is actively working towards initiating court proceedings.