NOPSEMA progresses investigation into diving complaints

20 April 2018

Following the receipt of a notification in November 2017 of a dangerous occurrence event during saturation diving operations being conducted by DOF Subsea Australia Pty Ltd as part of the Inpex Operations Australia Pty Ltd - Ichthys project, NOPSEMA commenced an investigation using investigation powers under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.

Powers exercised have included the execution of an investigation warrant and the applications of coercive powers. The companies involved have been cooperating with the investigation.

“As the national offshore regulatory authority for petroleum activities, the health and wellbeing of all members of the workforce is paramount to NOPSEMA”, said Damien Cronin, NOPSEMA’s Investigation Manager.

“A total of seven complaints have been made by saturation divers in relation to injuries that they attribute to a saturation diving operation in July 2017. The complaints have been followed up as part of the investigation of the matter, but to date the complainants have not been in a position to assist.

“NOPSEMA is continuing its investigation through other lines of enquiry, including engagement with industry experts, medical specialists and relevant duty holders.

“Subject to the outcome of the investigation, NOPSEMA will consider whether enforcement action is appropriate, up to and including prosecution” said Mr Cronin.

The investigation is being conducted by NOPSEMA’s independent Investigations Unit, which operates autonomously to NOPSEMA’s regulatory assessment and inspection divisions. The investigation remains ongoing and further updates will be provided in due course.