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We investigate the most serious incidents ourselves. Such direct scrutiny accordingly forms an important part of our supervisory work.

Photo from investigation

Hazards and accidents within our area of responsibility are followed up in various ways, depending on their level of seriousness.

Investigations represent a good way of identifying the causes of serious incidents and focusing attention on causal mechanisms – human, technological and organisational.

Our reaction to a serious incident can take the following forms:

  • conducting our own independent investigation, often in parallel with inquiries pursued by the public prosecutor backed by our technical support
  • checking the operator’s system for following up the incidentassessing the operator’s own investigation report.

When do we investigate?
Incidents which typically qualify for direct investigation by us include:

  • major accidents or near-misses
  • fatal accidents at work
  • serious personal injuries with a potential to cause death
  • serious weakening or loss of safety functions and barriers, which threatens the integrity of the facility.

Where necessary, an investigation can be conducted in collaboration with other regulatory agencies.

Our investigation acquires facts and identifies causes. On that basis, we assess which responses are required to bring the operation into compliance with the regulations and to prevent similar incidents.

Key role in supervision
Following up incidents forms part of the regulatory concept, and represents an important part of our supervision. Experience from these investigations is used for such purposes as:

  • prioritising supervisory activities
  • informing/briefing the industry to ensure experience transfer
  • assessing the need for continued development of the regulations and the way we conduct our supervision
  • internal expertise development.

We also play an important role in informing the HSE regulators in other countries about incidents on the Norwegian continental shelf which could be relevant for them.