DOF Subsea Australia on Tuesday was convicted in Australia after a lengthy trial on three counts of an employer negligently breaching its health and safety duties under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.
The breaches occurred during saturation diving undertaken in 2017 at the Ichthys field on the Skandi Singapore facility, confirmed offshore regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety & Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema).
The workscope included saturation diving operations from a diving support vessel to facilitate the repair of subsea infrastructure located on the seabed in a water depth between approximately 237 and 270 metres.
Nopsema said that between 6 December 2017 and 7 March 2018, it received complaints from seven of the saturation divers, “advising of neurological injuries sustained during the diving operations”.
On receiving the first complaint, Australia’s offshore regulator commenced a major investigation and subsequently forwarded a brief of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
“As Australia's independent, expert regulator for the offshore energy industry, the workplace health and safety of the offshore workforce is at the core of what we do,” said Nopsema.
Legal proceedings against the local division of Norway’s DOF Subsea commenced in July 2020 in relation to the incidents, which occurred while divers were carrying out repairs on the pipeline for the Inpex-operated Ichthys project offshore Western Australia — the deepest ever commercial dive offshore Australia.
“We remain focused on our compliance monitoring and enforcement activities to ensure operators are appropriately identifying and managing risks,” said Nopsema.
"We will continue to take enforcement action that is appropriate to the seriousness of any incident.”
DOF Subsea Australia will be sentenced on a date yet to be set.