Minister clarifies offshore safety regime
Mines and Energy Minister Roger Grimes said today: "Everyone recognizes that the offshore is a harsh and sometimes dangerous work environment. It is for this reason that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and its offshore regulator, the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, place the utmost importance on protecting the health and safety of the men and women working in our offshore.
"Recent public comments have suggested that the C-NOPB lacks adequate mechanisms to ensure companies provide a safe work environment for their employees. Specifically, it has been suggested that the C-NOPB's only avenue in addressing a health and safety concern is the retraction of a company's licence to operate in the offshore. This statement is incorrect. As minister of mines and energy, I am compelled to set the record straight and to reassure workers and their loved ones that there are many options available to the C-NOPB to ensure a safe work environment in the offshore."
Minister Grimes, then, explained the various options available to the C-NOPB in ensuring compliance:
"Under the Accord Act, a range of enforcement options is available to the C-NOPB, not solely the retraction of an operating licence as has been recently suggested," said Minister Grimes. "While I am confident this approach provides the necessary powers for enforcement, I am committed to working with my federal counterpart, Minister Goodale, provincial Environment and Labour Minister Oliver Langdon, the C-NOPB, industry and other stakeholders to further enhance provisions to ensure a safe working environment in the offshore. The public should know that we view the men and women working in our offshore as our most precious resource."
Media contact: Carl Cooper, Director of Communications, (709) 729-4890.