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Third-party auditing and technical assistance to member companies are among several initiatives that are...

COS forges ahead on strategic plan

By Katherine Scott, editorial coordinator

Third-party auditing and technical assistance to member companies are among several initiatives that are driving a three-year strategic plan at the Center for Offshore Safety (COS),  Jeff Zinkham, project development manager for COS,  said during a topical luncheon at the 2012 OTC in Houston, on 30 April. In addition to a SEMS toolkit, developed in collaboration with IADC, the COS aims to provide technical assistance to its members through activities such as the establishment of accredited third-party audit services. Although such accreditation is not currently mandatory, Mr Zinkham hopes it will be in the future.

The Center for Offshore Safety has created a three-year strategic plan to help improve the industry’s deepwater drilling future, said Jeff Zinkham, project development manager, at the 2012 OTC in Houston on 30 April.

The COS is now working to finalize the accreditation certification process, which should be released soon, he added.

The three-year strategic plan, approved in January, largely focuses on how the center can achieve objectives such as increasing public awareness of the industry’s safety and environmental performance and stimulating cooperation within industry to share best practices. The COS also sustains communication with the US Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) and the Coast Guard to seek ways to continuously improve safety and performance.

Looking toward a sustainable future, the center’s goals include elevating the industry’s quality and safety standards, promoting an industry culture of incident-free operations and becoming a “one-stop central source for information.” The major objective, Mr Zinkham said, is that there is no harm to people and the environment during operations.

One initiative already under way involves the measurement of leading and lagging indicators. “We really want to focus on the leading indicators,” he said. “When you start to think about process safety (the question is), what can we measure? What can (we) learn from each other?”

Although the center is still in its early stages, he said, progress is being made. Charlie Williams was recently appointed as executive director, and the group hopes to bring more employees onboard over the next year. “I hope progress starts to pick up here and gain some traction,” Mr Zinkham said. “But I think we’ve done a really good job. We’ve got a strategic plan … and a clear vision of where we want to be in twelve months, twenty-four months, thirty-six months. … We’re off and running.”

Membership in the COS is required by the US government for any company operating in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

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