Offshore Safety Improvement Branch
The Offshore Safety Improvement branch provides national level oversight for the following BSEE programs: Aviation Management, Medical Standards, Offshore Credentials, Safety and Environmental Management (SEMS), and Electrical Standards.
Within these programs, this widely diverse group is responsible for managing coordinating or supporting many of the core safety functions in BSEE’s inspection programs or programs that directly link to driving safety and environmental performance on the OCS, including:
- Managing the BSEE National Aviation Management and Safety Program and developing the procedures to comply with and implement DOI aviation directives and to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the BSEE Aviation program.
- Developing and managing BSEE policy and guidelines for the Medical Standards Program. Coordinates contracts for a medical review officer, examining physicians, and designation of the Medical Advisory Committee who will provide recommendations to Regional Directors for decisions on waivers/accommodations.
- Managing and coordinating the National Safety Alert Coordination Program and DOI’s Aviation Safecom program to quickly communicate lessons learned and near miss observations both within BSEE and to the Operators and other stakeholders with operations on the OCS.
- Working with Homeland Security and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Law Enforcement and Security to ensure timely reviews of OCS security related guidelines and procedures including potential emerging cyber security risks and the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
- Drafts and monitors the development and maintenance of relevant policies, regulations and procedures related to the BSEE implementation of the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) program.
- Directs BSEE’s programs addressing offshore electrical systems for both renewable and conventional energy systems. Promotes BSEE’s knowledge of offshore electrical systems to improve regulatory oversight and standards development for both renewable and conventional energy electrical systems proposed for use in the offshore environment.
- Coordinates the collection and vetting of proposed new safety or environmental initiatives for consideration as future research, training or BSEE initiative actions.
Drafts and monitors BSEE's policy for oversight and enforcement of the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) regulation, a performance-focused requirement for operators to integrate safety and environmental risk controls into offshore operations management. OSIB SEMS responsibilities include analysis of SEMS effectiveness, support for SEMS enforcement actions, and ongoing development and promotion of continual improvement opportunities in all aspects of SEMS. For further information on BSEE’s SEMS activities:
- SEMS page including a discussion of the history of the SEMS regulation
- Regulatory Interpretations involving SEMS
- Manual Chapter on BSEE’s SEMS Oversight and Enforcement Program
- Safety Culture Policy of BSEE and its relationship to SEMS
- Analysis of SEMS Impact based on a review of SEMS Audit Results and OCS Performance Measures
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer-based and other electronically enabled systems from inadvertent and malicious attacks. Cybersecurity failures can lead to the theft of information and losses related to data access, other network access, and/or reliable access to or functioning of Industrial Control Systems (ICS).
The practice of cybersecurity is often compartmentalized into protection of Information Technology (IT) or Operational Technology (OT) systems. IT cybersecurity seeks to protect computer systems from data theft and loss of access to information, computer functionality, and IT network functionality. OT cybersecurity focuses on assuring the reliable functioning of ICS. Both are necessary for a comprehensive program.
Promotion of OT cybersecurity is in line with the mission of BSEE “to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement,” because failure of OT cybersecurity on an OCS facility could lead to serious human, environmental, or national security harm. OSIB is currently leading the efforts within BSEE to define and implement a strategic framework for BSEE to play a more formal role in establishing cybersecurity expectations for energy operations on the OCS.
BSEE collaborates with other federal partners who were assigned primary authority to protect the nation’s energy sector critical infrastructure, and will be providing leadership and a unified interface for energy companies operating on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Federal partners and their cybersecurity approaches include the following:
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its strategy
- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and its strategy and its approach for ICS security
- The Department of Energy (DOE) and its strategy
- Within the DOE, the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (ONSCC)
- The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) in partnership with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA)
- The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and its strategy