The offshore installations and pipeline works (management and administration) regulations 1995



1  This SPC provides information on interpretation and enforcement of the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995 (MAR). It should be read with the published guide, booklet L70.


2  MAR replaced a number of prescriptive regulations, whilst still requiring some notifications to HSE and some information to be kept on installations. To implement the Extractive Industries (Boreholes) Directive it includes some more prescriptive elements, particularly regulations 11 (instructions) and 16 (health surveillance).


3  MAR applies to offshore installations, as defined in regulation 3 and amended by the Offshore Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002, while in relevant waters. This includes production and non-production installations, but excludes stacked installations and a structure or device which does not project above the sea at any state of the tide. MAR applies to installations in the course of construction or demolition in relevant waters.

4  Only regulation 5 (notification) applies to installations in transit. This means any time when the installation is not at, or in the immediate vicinity of, a previous or new working station. Manoeuvring before leaving a station or after arrival is not part of transit, so the regulations apply to such activity.

5  Regulations 6-13 and 15-18 do not apply to offshore installations with nobody on board. Regulation 15(2) only applies to activities in connection with offshore installations and wells, and to pipeline works and certain connected activities.


6  Most of the regulations place duties on a primary dutyholder (the operator of a production installation and the owner of a non-production installation). A broad duty of co-operation, which falls on every person, is in regulation 8. There are no other duties on licensees, although if a licensee does not appoint an operator, the licensee is deemed by regulation 2 to be the operator. Regulation 15(2) puts duties on employers of workers engaged in pipeline works and activities in connection with an installation or a well.


7  MAR includes primary duties regarding management and safety management systems. It is essential that MAR requirements are effectively and consistently enforced, and that dutyholders understand that HSE expects high standards of compliance.

Interpretation (regulation 2)

8  A new definition of 'owner' has been inserted by the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005 (SCR), as the person who controls the operation of a non-production installation. It ensures consistency with the SCR requirement for a safety case for a non-production (previously a mobile) installation. When a MODU is hired as a 'bare boat charter' the person who controls the operation of the installation is the owner, and therefore the dutyholder for the submission of the safety case.

9  Regulation 2(3) specifies that structures and devices on top of a well form part of it. Equipment on top of a well, not part of a pipeline, is therefore covered by MAR.

Meaning of offshore installation (regulation 3)

10  Regulation 3, as amended by the Offshore Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002, defines an 'offshore installation' for the purposes of MAR. This amendment extends the definition to include supplementary units providing support services to offshore installations. This definition is also used in PFEER and SCR. Specialist vessels (such as heavy lift and diving support vessels) are installations when used mainly to provide accommodation for workers on an installation. Well service vessels may also attract installation status. Guidance on the definition is in booklet L70.

11  Stacked non-production installations are excluded from the definition of an installation and thereby from the application of MAR. The requirements of the Offshore Installations (Inspectors and Casualties) Regulations 1973 relating to conveyance of inspectors and to provision of accommodation, etc. do not apply. By virtue of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order, the HSW Act applies in the territorial sea to those activities listed in Article 8 of the Order, and stacked installations are still covered by the Act as a place of work.

Managers (regulation 6)

12  The OIM has a number of functions under MAR, but the only duties are those of notification of restraint under regulation 7 and co-operation under regulation 8. The OIM has duties under other legislation, such as the Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989.

Co-operation (regulation 8)

13  The duty of co-operation is very broad. It applies to all persons (including operators, owners, licensees, employers, employees, managers and people in charge of visiting aircraft or vessels) and extends to the dutyholders' duties under all relevant statutory provisions. However that the duty is to co-operate only with the dutyholder under MAR (the owner, operator, employer and installation manager). There is no duty to co-operate with, for example, a pipeline owner, although the pipeline owner has a duty to co-operate with the owner or operator. For there to be a breach of the duty to co-operate, it is also necessary to demonstrate a breach of duty under one of the other relevant statutory provisions.

Health surveillance (regulation 16)

14  These provisions supplement regulation 6 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), by making it explicit that for work offshore where health surveillance is appropriate, such surveillance should begin before the employee starts the work. It can be integrated with the system of offshore medicals.

Drinking water (regulation 17)

15  MAR gives no definition of 'wholesomeness'. However, the onshore water supply regulations define water quality in terms of its physical, chemical and biological characteristics at various points in the supply chain. The requirements are described in EC Directives 80/788 and 98/83, and enacted in the UK by various sets of regulations.

16  The defined quality at the consumer's tap, and the requirements for periodic analysis, in the onshore regulations would meet the requirements of regulation 17. The onshore regulations do not apply offshore, so enforcement is based on the HSW Act and MHSWR, using the quality standards in the onshore regulations as a guide to good practice. The Guidelines for Environmental Health on Offshore Installations (published by Oil and Gas UK) refer to EC Directive 80/778 as a guide to water quality and to the sampling regime needed to demonstrate compliance.

Provisions (regulation 18)

17  MAR Regulation 18 requires food and drink to be fit for human consumption, palatable and of good quality. There is no definition of 'palatable' in MAR or in onshore food safety legislation, which does not apply offshore. The requirement can be met by complying with onshore food legislation and associated standards. The topics covered include premises, equipment, transport, temperature, waste, personal hygiene, training and risk assessment.

18  Enforcement of food safety offshore is based on the HSW Act and MHSWR, using the onshore legislation and standards as a guide to good practice. The industry guidelines mentioned above also give guidance on offshore food safety standards.

Identification of the installation

19  Additional guidance is in Operations Notice 39.

Exemptions (regulation 20)

20  MAR provides for exemption from its requirements, although this should not normally be necessary. Exemptions cannot be given for the parts which implement the Extractive Industries (Boreholes) Directive, namely regulations 6 (managers), 10 (permits to work), 11 (instructions) and 16 (health surveillance). Guidance on applications. See Guidance on Exemptions.

The Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 (regulation 21)

21  This regulation maintains the application offshore of the 1969 Act, bringing definitions into line with those in MAR (although 'owner' here refers to both production and non-production installations).

Further information

22  Further information can be obtained from the OSD Legal and Operational Strategy team, 01224 252603.

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Updated 2024-07-10