OMAHAC is a strategically focused committee that will address the management and control of major accident hazards (whether they are within internal or external waters). It succeeds the former Offshore Industry Advisory Committee (OIAC), which focussed solely on the offshore sector, which in turn, was previously known as the Oil Industry Advisory Committee (OillAC) which held a wider brief for both the onshore and offshore oil and gas industries.
The committee is scheduled to meet twice ayear, although additional meetings may be organised as necessary. OMAHAC’s Terms of Reference and Ways of Working are listed below.
Terms of Reference
OMAHAC’s terms of reference are:
- Enabling dialogue and cooperation between the competent authority, employers, operators, workers and other relevant stakeholder groups regarding the management and control of offshore major accident hazards;
- Bringing together all the regulators with an influence on the management and control of major accident hazards associated with the offshore extraction of oil and gas, with a view to coordinating their regulatory approaches and priorities;
- Providing the competent authority with a mechanism to consult stakeholders on issues bearing on the management and control of offshore major accident hazards and, from time to time, in exceptional circumstances wider occupational health and safety issues;
- Providing the competent authority with the stakeholder’s independent assessment of the standard of the management and control of offshore major accident hazards;
- Considering the regulatory approaches taken to establish the effective management and control of offshore major accident hazards; and
- Reviewing periodically the quality and effectiveness of the standards and policies available for the management and control of offshore major accident hazards, advice where improvements are required and, by exception, coordination of research or the production of guidance.
Ways of Working
The committee’s ways of working are:
- OMAHAC comprises up to 12 members, representing HSE, BEIS, DfT/MCA, HSENI, industry (including verification and well examination bodies) and Trade Unions. All representatives will have an equal voice. Individuals can attend to provide support to OMAHAC, to present papers, or attend as observers (e.g. safety representatives);
- To be effective, representative organisations will select senior members for the committee with sufficient authority to make decisions and give undertakings on behalf of their constituency;
- OMAHAC will normally meet twice a year;
- A Chair and Vice-Chair will be appointed for a period of 2 years, with the Vice-Chair becoming the Chair at the end of this period. The Chair will be rotated across member groups (e.g. regulator followed by Industry stakeholder group);
- Decisions will be made by consensus, not majority voting;
- Periodically, committee members will agree or update the committee’s vision (e.g. contribute to a sustainable sector which has the confidence of all stakeholders and in particular the general public; promote joined up regulatory oversight that is consistent and stable; and committee participants broadly aligned and showing leadership);
- Annually committee members will review the advisory committee’s performance, including assessing membership to maintain efficiency and adequate coverage of the sector;
- At the end of each advisory committee meeting, members will agree the aims and objectives for the next advisory committee meeting and commission relevant papers from members;
- OMAHAC is not an executive committee, but members will catalyse and facilitate change and develop guidance and standards through influence on their constituent organisations;
- All members are expected to honour the agreements made in the advisory committee (e.g. to encourage the adoption of appropriate guidance or ways of working), and act on these agreements as they conduct, promote or support offshore oil and gas operations;
- Task and finish groups will be initiated as appropriate to deliver discrete projects; and
- HSE will provide the secretariat support for the committee for the first two years after which arrangements will be reviewed.