Agency: New rules needed to make offshore drilling safer

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says drilling companies in U.S. waters should be required to work more closely with rig workers and regulators, as they do in Norway and the United Kingdom, to reduce the risk of accidents.

The Chemical Safety Board investigates major industrial accidents. It is concluding a long-running probe into the catastrophic blowout of a BP well six years ago in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers and injured many others.

The agency issued its safety recommendations Wednesday afternoon.

Since the BP disaster, regulators have forced the industry to comply with new safety rules. But the CSB called this "performance-based" protocol weak. It also said the regulations fail to cover contractors, a major segment in offshore work.