[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 245 (Thursday, December 20, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75443-75444]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30670]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

[Docket ID BSEE-2012-0017]


Draft Safety Culture Policy Statement: Request for Public 
Comments

AGENCY: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), 
Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is 
issuing this Draft Statement of Policy to announce its expectation that 
individuals and organizations performing or overseeing activities 
regulated by BSEE establish and maintain a positive safety culture 
commensurate with the significance of their activities and the nature 
and complexity of their organizations and functions. The BSEE defines 
safety culture as the core values and behaviors resulting from a 
collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety, 
over competing goals, to ensure protection of people and the 
environment. This draft policy statement would apply to all lessees, 
the owners or holders of operating rights, designated operators or 
agents of the lessee(s), pipeline right-of-way holders, State lessees 
granted a right-of-use and easement, and contractors. The BSEE is 
requesting comments on the Draft Safety Culture Policy Statement and 
associated questions.

DATES: Submit comments by March 20, 2013. The BSEE may not fully 
consider comments received after this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this notice by any of the 
following methods. Please use Draft Safety Culture Policy Statement as 
an identifier in your message. See also Public Availability of Comments 
below.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In 
the entry titled ``Enter Keyword or ID,'' enter BSEE-2012-0017 then 
click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and 
view supporting and related materials available for this notice. The 
BSEE will post all comments.
     Email: Keith.Petka@bsee.gov.
     Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the 
Interior; Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Attention: 
Regulations and Standards Branch (RSB); 381 Elden Street, HE-3313, 
Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference, Draft Safety Culture 
Policy Statement in your comments and include your name and return 
address.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Petka, Safety and Environmental 
Management Systems Branch at (703) 787-1762 to request additional 
information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    A major component of each report that has followed the Deepwater 
Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill is the recommendation to 
improve the safety culture upon the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The 
Department of the Interior Outer Continental Shelf Safety Oversight 
Board's Report to Secretary Ken Salazar (2010) advocated a program that 
would ``create and maintain industry, worker, and regulator awareness 
of, and commitment to, measures that will achieve human safety and 
environmental protection'' that would also rely heavily on the industry 
to ``make a widespread, forceful and long-term commitment to 
cultivating a serious approach to safety that sets the highest safety 
standards and consistently meets them.''
    The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and 
Offshore Drilling (2011) observed, ``Government oversight must be 
accompanied by the oil and gas industry's internal reinvention: 
Sweeping reforms that accomplish no less than a fundamental 
transformation of its safety culture.'' The National Commission 
recommended looking at the nuclear industry for an example of drastic 
improvement in safety culture. Following the partial meltdown in 1979 
of the radioactive core in Unit Two at the Three Mile Island Nuclear 
Generating Station, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. 
government's regulatory agency for the nuclear industry, began 
initiatives to help influence the safety culture of the

[[Page 75444]]

nuclear energy industry toward continuous improvement. One of these 
initiatives was to work with the nuclear industry and public to develop 
a formal policy on the NRC's expectations for a strong and effective 
safety culture.
    The BSEE has reviewed the NRC's safety culture policy and believes 
it provides a strong foundation for a similar approach for oil and gas 
operations on the OCS, with the ultimate goal of facilitating the 
continued development of a robust safety culture for all persons 
working on the OCS.

II. Statement of Policy

    It is BSEE's policy that a strong safety culture is an essential 
element for individuals, both internal to the BSEE and external, 
performing or overseeing regulated activities. As such, BSEE will 
include appropriate means to monitor safety culture in its oversight 
programs and internal management processes. The BSEE defines safety 
culture as the core values and behaviors resulting from a collective 
commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over 
competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. 
Further, it is important for all lessees, the owners or holders of 
operating rights, designated operators or agents of the lessee(s), 
pipeline right-of-way holders, State lessees granted a right-of-use and 
easement, and contractors to foster in personnel an appreciation for 
the importance of safety, emphasizing the need for its integration and 
balance with competing performance objectives to achieve optimal 
protection without compromising production goals.
    Individuals and organizations performing regulated activities bear 
the primary responsibility for safety.
    Experience has shown that certain personal and organizational 
characteristics are present in a positive safety culture. A 
characteristic, in this case, is a pattern of thinking, feeling, and 
behaving that emphasizes safety, particularly in goal conflict 
situations (e.g., production, schedule, and the cost of the effort 
versus safety).
    The following are characteristics of a robust safety culture:
    (1) Leadership Safety Values and Actions--Leaders demonstrate a 
commitment to safety in their decisions and behaviors;
    (2) Problem Identification and Resolution--Issues potentially 
impacting safety are promptly identified, fully evaluated, and promptly 
addressed and corrected commensurate with their significance;
    (3) Personal Accountability--All individuals take personal 
responsibility for safety;
    (4) Work Processes--The process of planning and controlling work 
activities is implemented so that safety is maintained;
    (5) Continuous Learning--Opportunities to learn about ways to 
ensure safety are sought out and implemented;
    (6) Environment for Raising Concerns--A safety conscious work 
environment is maintained where personnel feel free to raise safety 
concerns without fear of retaliation, intimidation, harassment, or 
discrimination;
    (7) Effective Safety Communication--Communications maintain a focus 
on safety;
    (8) Respectful Work Environment--Trust and respect permeate the 
organization; and
    (9) Inquiring Attitude--Individuals avoid complacency and 
continuously consider and review existing conditions and activities in 
order to identify discrepancies that might result in error or 
inappropriate action.
    There may be traits not included in this Draft Safety Culture 
Policy Statement that are also important in a positive safety culture. 
It should be noted that these traits were not developed to be used for 
inspection purposes.

III. Questions for Which BSEE Is Seeking Input

    The previous discussion addressed BSEE's approach to safety culture 
policy going forward and we would like your input. We will consider any 
comments that you feel would be beneficial to this policy. We welcome 
your input, your experiences, and your knowledge. The BSEE welcomes any 
comments on all content in this notice, but we specifically welcome 
your input on the following items.
    (1) The draft Safety Culture Policy Statement provides a 
description of attributes that are important to safety culture, (i.e., 
safety culture characteristics). What characteristics relevant to a 
particular type of OCS activity do not appear to be addressed in this 
notice?
    (2) What safety culture characteristics, described in the draft 
Safety Culture Policy Statement, do not contribute to safety culture on 
the OCS and, therefore, should not be included?
    (3) The draft Safety Culture Policy Statement defines safety 
culture as: ``The core values and behaviors resulting from a collective 
commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over 
competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment.'' 
Please comment on any parts of this definition that need further 
clarification to be useful for operations on the OCS.
    (4) The draft policy statement states, ``[I]t is important for all 
lessees, the owners or holders of operating rights, designated 
operators or agents of the lessee(s), pipeline right-of-way holders, 
State lessees granted a right-of-use and easement, and contractors to 
foster in personnel an appreciation for the importance of safety, 
emphasizing the need for its integration and balance with competing 
performance objectives to achieve optimal protection without 
compromising production goals.'' Given the diversity among OCS 
activities regulated by BSEE, please comment on the need to provide 
further clarification on this statement.
    (5) How well does the draft Safety Culture Policy Statement enhance 
organization's understanding of BSEE's expectations that they maintain 
a safety culture?
    (6) In addition to issuing a Safety Culture Policy Statement, what 
might BSEE consider doing, or doing differently, to increase OCS 
attention to safety culture?
    (7) How can BSEE better involve stakeholders to address safety 
culture?
    To ensure efficient consideration of your comments, please identify 
the specific question numbers with your comments when applicable.

     Dated: December 13, 2012.
James A. Watson,
Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2012-30670 Filed 12-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-VH-P