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Safety Forum meeting, 22 March 2007

The main employer and employee organisations for the onshore and offshore petroleum industry were gathered for the second full-day meeting this year at the PSA's premises on 22 March 2007, chaired by PSA Director General Magne Ognedal. The parties' and the authorities' follow-up of Report No. 12 to the Storting on Health, safety and environment in the petroleum activities was a key topic in this meeting as well, and ample time had been set aside to review the individual contributions of all parties in this follow

Presentations were made regarding areas where cooperation projects between the parties in the industry and the PSA have been initiated, such as chemical health hazard, where our project manager Janne Lea Svensson reported from an expert conference held at the PSA's premises on 21 March 2007.

The project headed by the PSA regarding working hour schemes in the industry held a conference to sum up the need for knowledge and the challenges in this area on 15 March. Project manager Øyvind Lauridsen presented a summary from this event.

Furthermore, the status of the consultation process regarding the HSE regulations for petroleum activities offshore and at onshore facilities was presented. The PSA's role as coordinator and the consideration for the special needs related to the regulation of the onshore part of the activities and the requirement for comprehensive management are key premises for this work.

From the industry, represented by OLF, the project manager accounted for the status of the work with long-term follow-up of the health of North Sea divers. The aim of the work is for OLF/IMCA to achieve a wide, uniform, international program run by Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen and the University of Aberdeen. This program will follow the divers through their careers. The program's focus areas are lung function, hearing, bones, cognitive functions and skin.

Groups exposed to risk is one of four main priorities for the PSA in 2007 and Elisabeth Loots described the aims and ambitions in this work. One of the aims is to develop a comprehensive picture of the risk of work-related injury and disease for various groups in the activities, and well service personnel and catering employees were dealt with especially as two such groups in this meeting. Even if the contractors have an independent responsibility for their own HSE measures, they are also subject to framework conditions set by others.

This meeting also set aside ample time to review serious incidents in the period since the last meeting in February 2007.

The incidents reviewed by Arnt H. Steinbakk were

  • an incident on Transocean Winner on 23 February 2007 (for Hydro), where two mooring winches slipped out 6-7 metres of mooring chain during the drilling of a top hole,
  • one incident with a falling object (weight: 100 kg) on West Epsilon on 28 February 2007, which is under review,
  • a fire in a gas export turbine on Oseberg Delta on 6 March 2007,
  • one lifting incident on Mærsk Gallant on 8 March 2007 next to Ekofisk 2/4-B where a flagman was entangled in the guideline and hoisted into the air,
  • one incident on Gyda on the 20 March 2007, where a 600 kg object fell out of the elevator and ended on the drilling deck - and finally,
  • an incident on West Alpha on 30 March 2007 where a fire indicator in the engine room was triggered.

None of the incidents caused injuries, but most of the incidents had a significant potential for serious consequences.

Topics such as learning and transfer of experience, underlying causes, cranes and lifting as a special area for improvement and new technology were discussed in the debate concerning these serious incidents.

These are topics which will be raised specifically in the meeting on transfer of experience and learning held by the OLF and Norsk Industri link in August this year.

Safety Forum's annual conference will be held on 20 June 2007 - for the fifth year running, and the program outline for this conference was discussed. Furthermore, Magne Ognedal described the work the PSA has carried out concerning standard industry contracts in an HSE perspective. This will be followed up in the next regular Safety Forum meeting 21 June.

The next Safety Forum will be held on 26 April 2007 and will in its entirety be dedicated to the results of the RNNS project and will be followed by a press conference.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority:
Angela Ebbesen
E-mail: angela.ebbesen@ptil.no