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Kym Bills - Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WA: ERA) - Cutting red tape, improving safety and preventing major accidents?
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Kym Bills - Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WA: ERA) - Cutting red tape, improving safety and preventing major accidents?

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Kym Bills delivered the presentation at the 2014 Perth Safety in Action Conference. …

Kym Bills delivered the presentation at the 2014 Perth Safety in Action Conference.

The 2014 Perth Safety in Action Conference focused on enhancing compliance, productivity and affordability for big and small business. Highlights included an international keynote address from Neville Rockhouse, the Safety and Training Manager for Pike River Coal in New Zealand.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.safetyinaction.com.au/SIAPerth14

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. Safety In Action 2014 ‘Cutting red tape, improving safety and preventing major accidents?’ Kym Bills, CEO WA:ERA 12 June 2014, 11am
  • 2. WA:ERA established 18 September 2003 • Capability building across CSIRO, UWA and Curtin (WA $20m) with an initial focus on: - Gas technologies - Offshore facilities - Subsurface technologies • ARRC opened 2001 includes 3 JV partners & now Pawsey Centre WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE
  • 3. Precinct: 3 World-Class Research Partners WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE CSIRO Curtin UWA
  • 4. National Resource Sciences Precinct WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE WA:ERA links with NRSP, launched 8/4/14 by CSIRO, Curtin & UWA in collaboration to position Perth as a world capital for minerals & energy R&D by 2020 - assisting global competitiveness of the Australian resources sector through innovation
  • 5. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE • Woodside & Chevron fund R&D via WA:ERA framework agreements - collaboration with their experts is crucial • Support professorial chairs at Curtin & UWA in: Petroleum Geology, LNG Construction Productivity, Corrosion, Gas Process Engineering, Petroleum Geoscience, Computational Geoscience, Palynology • Shell chairs also at UWA & increasing WA:ERA engagement and roles
  • 6. Current Initiatives: NGL & FSC WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE • $48.4m National Geosequestration Laboratory (NGL) being implemented via CSIRO lead • WA:ERA scoping help from Commonwealth to engage industry to refine R&D focus for Floating Systems Centre establishment second half 2014 - UWA lead: FLNG & related systems, eg subsea
  • 7. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE • The question mark in my topic is deliberate - but like the conference theme of ‘enhancing compliance, productivity and affordability for big and small business’ - is it really possible to do all of these things simultaneously? • In both cases I think the answer is - ‘it depends’ • I want to canvass government regulatory policy, remind you of our safety heritage and major accident safety, and suggest an answer needs to be risk-based and balance standards, compliance, simplification and competitiveness ‘Cutting red tape, improving safety and preventing major accidents?’
  • 8. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE Good health and safety is vitally important. But all too often good, straightforward legislation designed to protect people from major hazards has been extended inappropriately to cover every walk of life, no matter how low risk. ... As a result, instead of being valued, the standing of health and safety in the eyes of the public has never been lower ... businesses are drowned in red tape, confusion and the fear of being sued for even minor accidents. Cutting UK Red Tape British PM David Cameron
  • 9. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE We simply cannot go on like this. ... We’re going to end the unnecessary bureaucracy that drains creativity and innovation from our businesses. ... we’re going to focus regulations where they are most needed; with a new system that is proportionate, not bureaucratic; that treats adults like adults and reinstates some common sense and trust British PM David Cameron 2010 Cutting UK Red Tape
  • 10. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE This scandalous culture of piling on new regulations without assessing the consequences for productivity, and the costs involved, must now come to an end. Protecting the consumer, the environment and the worker ... are legitimate interests but there are other legitimate interests ... [We seek to ensure] regulation is never adopted as the default solution, but rather introduced as a means of last resort. Cutting Australian Red Tape Parl Sec Josh Frydenberg
  • 11. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE Regulation can have benefits, but ... can’t eliminate every risk, nor should it. ... Policy makers must seek practical solutions, balancing risk with the need for regulatory frameworks that support a stronger, more productive and diverse economy where innovation, investment and jobs are created. ... [You can] look forward to a future with substantially less red tape and Australia’s economy continuing to grow and prosper. Parliamentary Secretary Josh Frydenberg, 2013 & 2014 Cutting Red (& Green) Tape - Australia
  • 12. But can we deregulate & avoid offshore MAEs? Montara, Aust 1/11/09 Varanus Island, Aust 3/6/08 WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE Macondo, US Gulf 20/4/10
  • 13. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE The oil and gas industry is regulated by around 150 statutes and more than 50 agencies, and much of the regulation appears to be prompted by political factors rather than by science or operational realities ... The gas industry has no issue with the regulation of its activities, but the rules must be based on science. There are significant opportunities — at both federal and state levels — to reduce red and green tape and streamline the duplicative and overlapping regulatory processes David Byers, APPEA CEO, Flowline, April 2014 APPEA thinks so
  • 14. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE British Safety Heritage: 20 Year Landmarks 1972 Robens 1949 Asquith 2010 Young 1990 Cullen
  • 15. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE ‘ALARP’ underpins UK (HSE) and Australian (eg NOPSEMA & WHS) law ‘Reasonably practicable’ is a narrower term than ‘physically possible’ … a computation must be made by the owner in which the quantum of risk is placed on one scale and the sacrifice involved in the measures necessary for averting the risk (whether in money, time or trouble) is placed in the other, and that, if it be shown that there is a gross disproportion between them – the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice – the defendants discharge the onus on them. Edwards v. National Coal Board [1949] 1 All ER 743 (per Lord Asquith) British Safety Heritage: 1949 Lord Asquith 1949 Asquith
  • 16. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE British Safety Heritage: 1972 Lord Robens 1972 Robens • Too much law • Jurisdictional fragmentation • Complex drafting unintelligible • Saps responsibility • Neglects human & organisational factors • Training & joint consultation needed • Monitoring of safety performance • Responsibilities at all levels
  • 17. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE British Safety Heritage: 1972 Lord Robens • Need new framework Act • Basic employer safety duty • Regulations support, plus codes & guidance • No regulation before detailed need assessment • Flexibility for new technology & compliance • But high risk areas should have tightened regulation • Line management responsibility & specialist support
  • 18. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE British Safety Heritage: 1990 Lord Cullen 1990 Cullen• Piper Alpha 1988 - 167 dead • Hazards & controls key • Operators must demonstrate their case for facility safety (ie fixed platforms & mobile) to the regulator • Operators own, update and audit their safety cases • Regulators undertake selective compliance checks
  • 19. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE British Safety Heritage: 1990 Lord Cullen • Consistent with Robens • Safety outcomes legislation focus • Avoid prescriptive compliance that can discourage innovation and lead to ‘box ticking’ • Use non-mandatory guidance material • But some detailed prescription is still essential
  • 20. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE [The UK safety problem has been] compounded by the actions of some health and safety consultants, many without any professional qualifications, who have a perverse incentive to take an overzealous approach to applying the health and safety regulations. As a consequence they employ a goal of eliminating all risk from the workplace instead of setting out the rational, proportionate approach ... British Safety Heritage: 2010 Lord Young 2010 Young
  • 21. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE ... since its coming into effect the compliance driven approach and prescription have continually eroded the principles of the [1974] Act’s risk based approach. ...there has been significant regulation ‘creep’ ... with the original principles of health and safety relating to hazardous environments being extended to relatively low risk activities and businesses. Lord Young, Common Sense Common Safety, 2010 British Safety Heritage: 2010 Lord Young
  • 22. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE • Harmonisation is important for employers & workers • But we can’t jump over a copy of the Work Health and Safety Act & Regulations, & Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Safety Act and Regulations • There must be scope for simplification- application of the enduring Robens & Cullen report principles • Consultation, flexibility but clear controls and responsibilities, monitoring, good guidance material, collaboration, data-sharing, training …part of answer A Way Forward
  • 23. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE A Systemic & Scientific Way Forward Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022
  • 24. Recent OECD Country Coal Mine Disasters Soma, Turkey May 2014, >300 dead Pike River NZ, November 2010 29 dead WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE Upper Big Branch US, April 2010, 29 dead
  • 25. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE • The 2014-15 Federal Budget cites a reduced regulatory compliance cost target of $1b pa with a ‘one-stop shop’ for environmental approvals: “How regulation is implemented affects compliance costs. The Government has issued statements of expectations to major regulators. … a framework to assess regulators’ performance is being developed.” • We all face the serious challenge to learn from our safety policy heritage, key compliance and other standards, the SIA BOK, & MAEs In conclusion I
  • 26. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE • There is no one right answer to ‘Cutting red tape, improving safety and preventing major accidents?’ and residual risk remains • But we can’t afford to get the balance badly wrong - either through more deaths and injuries or through loss of productivity, competitiveness and jobs • So an answer needs to be risk-based, balance standards, compliance, simplification and competitiveness & learn key lessons from the past. In conclusion II
  • 27. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ENERGY RESEARCH ALLIANCE WA:ERA’s Mission Fostering collaboration and resourcing for petroleum and geosequestration related research that provides innovative, safe & sustainable solutions.