Reporting and Investigating Incidents

Incident Reporting

The legislation requires that the Operator report all incidents to the C-NLOPB. The term incident refers to any event that caused or, under slightly different circumstances, would likely have caused harm to personnel or the environment or an imminent threat to the safety of an installation, vessel or aircraft. It also includes any event that impairs the function of any equipment or system critical to the safety of personnel, the installation, vessel, aircraft or any event that impairs the function of equipment or system critical to the protection of the natural environment.

The Incident Reporting and Investigation Guidelines provides guidance to Operators on which incidents are reportable to the Board. Details on reporting incidents are described in the guidelines.

Information about helicopter incidents may also be available on Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System

Operator Incident Investigation

Operators are required under the legislation to investigate all incidents to determine the associated root cause and causal factors, and to identify corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence. The C-NLOPB’s Incident Reporting and Investigation Guidelines describes how investigations should be conducted.

Incident investigations should identify all failed or inadequate technical, human and/or organizational barriers or safeguards associated with the occurrence of an incident and review the efficiency and effectiveness of the emergency response that occurs following an incident. Incidents are an indication of the performance of a management system. Thus, it is important when an incident occurs that the investigation goes beyond identifying failed barriers and determines the underlying root causes. By correcting the underlying root causes, Operators can prevent other incidents from occurring.

Incident Investigation reports are reviewed by C-NLOPB Officers to ensure they provide sufficient information of the incident.

C-NLOPB Investigations

When there is a suspected violation of the legislation, the Chief Safety Officer or Chief Conservation Officer may initiate an investigation to determine the facts surrounding the incident or to determine if due diligence was exercised and if court proceeding should be undertaken.


Any person who has a complaint related to offshore petroleum operations may contact one of the Safety Officers by telephone, in writing or in person. Board staff will not divulge a complainant’s name without their permission unless required by law and will make every effort to maintain a complainant’s confidentiality. Complaints may be submitted anonymously; however, anonymous complaints are more difficult to investigate, as we are not able to have an ongoing dialogue with the complainant and will not be able to provide a response to an anonymous complainant once the review has been completed.