This paper discusses safety management in drilling operations both as a general philosophy and specifically as adopted by Atwood Oceanics Australia. The paper highlights the need for a structured safety management plan and shows the positive impact such a plan can have on the drilling operation.

It is probably appropriate to define Safety Management at the outset to better understand the concept. Although it is something of an imprecise discipline, it can perhaps best be described in these terms:

An effective safety management system is designed to reduce or eliminate all aspects of accidental loss in order to maximise the resources of the organisation. This is achieved through goal setting, planning, organising, staffing and controlling. As such, safety is managed like any other company function.

Clearly, some questions spring to mind! Why is it necessary? What's wrong with the way it is presently carried out? How much will it cost? Will it be worthwhile?

There are a number of reasons to focus on safety management – chief among them should be the very real concern for the pain and suffering of those who are unfortunate enough to be injured, maimed or even killed.

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