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  • 2016 May 21 18:18

    LRQA receives Center for Offshore Safety (COS) accreditation

    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 US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Information To Lessees on 8 June 2015 requires SEMS audits be performed by a COS accredited ASP.

    LRQA received SEMS accreditation by COS on 3 May 2016, enabling LRQA to become a leading third-party ASP. LRQA had received provisional accreditation on 9 October 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 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.

    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 US waters. The company specific information is scrubbed prior to sending to the COS, whom then develops industry metrics to help drive continual improvement.

    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 on this website under LR Energy.   

    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.

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