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NASA, BSEE announce pact to improve offshore worker safety

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Washington – Safety knows no boundaries. A recent pact between the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and NASA aims to prevent injuries among oil and gas workers on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The agencies announced a five-year agreement March 17 to share resources and promote collaboration among specialists. Under the agreement, experts from NASA will examine risks in the offshore industry that BSEE oversees and provide lessons learned from the space program.

“Both BSEE and NASA work in harsh and uncompromising environments, relying on cutting edge technology to go deeper and further than previously thought possible,” BSEE Director Brian Salerno said in a press release. “This partnership brings together technical experts from BSEE and NASA to focus on the specific risks associated with offshore operations so that we can continue to find ways to improve safety for offshore workers and protect the environment.”

NASA will assist BSEE with three specific objectives:

  • Help advance the development of BSEE’s risk management capability by using NASA’s probabilistic risk assessment technique
  • Analyze, design and test emerging, best-available and safest technologies
  • Study failures and near-miss incidents using resources and knowledge of experts from NASA’s accredited failure analysis laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston

NASA embraced the partnership and its focus on safety. “Whether the task takes one to deep space, or into the deep ocean, the analysis of the environment, training of personnel and risk mitigation factors are similar,” Jack James, technology transfer strategist at the Johnson Space Center, said in the release. “NASA is pleased to work with BSEE, and we endeavor to learn best practices from each other.”

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