An oil company has pleaded guilty to breaching its duty to provide a safe workplace after the death of two workers on a rig.
Stena Drilling Australia is expected to be sentenced next month after entering the plea at a Magistrates Court in Victoria.
It followed the deaths of floorman Peter Meddens and toolpusher Barry Denholm who had been working on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit.
Charges had been brought by the industry regulator in the country NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority).
It followed the incident in 2012 on board the rig, which had been drilling in the Bass Strait for Origin Energy.
The men had been operating heavy machinery when part of a drill had dislodged, killing one of the men instantly while the other received a blunt trauma to his body.
NOPSEMA chief executive Stuart Smith said: “This prosecution has reinforced the requirement for an appropriate risk assessment system to be implemented for all stages of work.
“Workers involved should have an opportunity to contribute to this assessment including consideration of factors such as stored energy; equipment design limits; and, impact of external conditions.
“Communication is a key part of any work offshore and supervisors should verify that all workers involved in any task understand their role and any associated risks.”
“All equipment utilised in planned work should be fit for purpose and in good working order. If the equipment is not working correctly, a reassessment of the risks associated with the work or task should be conducted.”
NOPSEMA said its investigation found that senior management failed to carry out a risk assessment and toolbox talk after altering the original plans of works.
Stena Drilling had also conceded that senior members of the drilling crew had failed to ensure a revised risk assessment had been carried out prior to implementing the new plan.