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Notification of order following audit of Statoil - working environment and cleaning in catering on Gullfaks B

In the period May - August 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Norwegian Board of Health (Htil) audited Statoil Forpleining (catering division), with verification on Gullfaks B (GFB) on 30 and 31 August 2006. Based on our findings during the audit, we have issued Statoil a notification of order.

The audit was directed at Statoil Forpleining's management of the working environment, especially as regards facilitation of work and return-to-work strategies*, participation in change processes and training, as well as cleaning routines, hygiene and contagion protection.

*Return-to-work strategies comprise measures implemented by the company to get employees back to work in the event of sick leave.

Background for the audit

The high incidence of sick leave in offshore catering worries both employees and employers. A multiparty project, "Lifting catering" was started in 2001 to contribute to an improvement of the working environment for the catering employees.

The project was completed with a report in 2003. The project focused on employee participation, establishment of working environment requirements, analyses of aspects of the working environment and training. The report used the challenges related to the working environment of the catering employees as a basis and described systematically measures to achieve a positive working environment and the training necessary to achieve this.

The catering employees in the Statoil system have been through a reorganisation of the cleaning concept and demanning. It has been stated in inquiries to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway that the catering employees do not feel that their working environment is properly looked after.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to evaluate the management of the working environment and cleaning against requirements in the regulations and verify the working environment conditions for catering employees at GFB.

In addition, the PSA and Htil wanted to use the audit to follow up the intentions from the project "Lifting catering" and to direct attention to a possible connection between a difficult working environment and working conditions on one side, and health injuries and sick leave on the other.

Result of the audit

The audit uncovered that Statoil's has inadequate management in order to ensure a fully reasonable working environment for the catering employees and to safeguard hygienic concerns is deficient. Even through the company has controlling documents in place, several management elements have not been properly looked after.

During the audit, we identified the following non-conformities:

  • Deficient management of the working environment.

  • Deficient management of cleaning and hygiene.

  • Deficient follow-up and registration of non-conformities following surveys.

  • Deficient facilitation of the work for catering employees.

  • Deficient registration and follow-up of potentially work-related illness.

  • Deficient plans for and overview of completed training.


In addition, we identified potential for improvement in

  • employee participation in change processes,

  • the safety delegate service,

  • return-to-work strategies.


The results of the audit leave the impression that the project Lifting Catering has had little effect for Statoil Forpleining employees on GFB.

Statoil was issued an order (link) to start a process to identify and handle any working environment non-conformities and exceptions in UPN (Undersøkelse og Produksjon Norge, Exploration and Production Norway). Several of the matters uncovered during the 2005 audit were also identified in this audit.

Based on our findings during the audit, we have given Statoil a notification of order as follows:

Pursuant to Section 13 of the Framework Regulations relating to the duty to establish, follow up and further develop management systems, and Section 58 relating to administrative decisions, Statoil is ordered to evaluate the management of the working environment for its catering employees, as well as the management of cleaning and hygiene (cf. Items 5.1.1 - 5.1.6 of the report) and carry out the necessary measures to ensure that the working environment is followed up according to the regulations.

Pursuant to Section 3 of the Management Regulations, the following elements must be included:

  • Follow-up and registration of non-conformities following surveys and audits - cf. Item 5.1.3 of the report.

  • Facilitation of working conditions for catering employees - cf. Item 5.1.4. of the report.

  • Registration and follow-up of potential work-related illness - cf. Item 5.1.5. of the report.

  • Training in working environment risk, hygiene and contagion protection - cf. Item 5.1.6. of the report.


Statoil must present an approved plan for upgrading the living quarters, especially as regards improving the working conditions for the catering employees, cf. Item 5.1.4. of the report.

The deadline for presenting a schedule for complying with the order is set to 15 January 2007.

We have informed the company that any comments to the notification must be in our hands by 15 December 2006.

Link:Explanation of the terms "order" and "notification of order"

Press contact in the PSA:
Ole-Johan Faret
Telephone: 970 54 064