Shale gas health and safety regulations

The well operator is responsible for ensuring the safety of the well and the site. HSE inspectors scrutinise the working practices adopted by operators to ensure operators manage and control safety risks, conforming to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the following regulations made under the Act:

Health and Safety Regulatory Regime

For the drilling process, HSE initially scrutinises the well design to ensure that health and safety risks are properly identified and systems are in place to properly manage them. Specialist inspectors then monitor progress on the well to determine if the operator is conducting operations as planned.

An oil and gas well is a complex engineered construction and the key to well integrity inspection is to ensure that the operator is managing risks effectively throughout the life cycle of the well. To ensure this, HSE uses an inspection and assessment process consisting of the following main elements, all of which utilise HSE's experienced specialist wells inspectors:

Ensuring public safety in the vicinity of fracking sites

The well operator is responsible for ensuring public safety within, and in the direct vicinity of, the work activities, following the industry model code of safe practice. HSE is responsible for regulating this requirement.

The Shale Environmental Regulator Group (SERG)

The Shale Environmental Regulator Group (SERG) has been set up to better coordinate the regulation of shale gas well sites. It brings together the regulatory activity of the:

You can find out how shale gas exploration and production will be jointly regulated in this working together agreement.