§ 68 Health-related matters
The operator shall establish systems for contact and exchange of information with the municipality, county council and regional health enterprise regarding health matters.
Systems for contact and exchange of information shall include
- hygienic conditions as regards people and environment,
- matters regarding accidents and acute illness that occur or can occur among people at the onshore facility,
- transport of ill and injured personnel, as well as
- health-related emergency preparedness.
The responsible party shall carry out a risk and vulnerability analyses of health matters as a basis for preventing and, if necessary, identifying nonconformities in relation to the relevant regulatory provisions.
The operator shall coordinate its emergency preparedness plans with the municipality, county council and regional health enterprise, cf. Section 22 of the Framework Regulations. Emergency drills shall be conducted to the extent necessary.
Section last changed: 01 January 2014
General health legislation, etc.
To be in accordance with Section 68, the operator must establish systems for contact and information exchange with the municipality, the responsible party pursuant to the Municipal Health and Care Services Act etc. (in Norwegian only) and the Public Health Act (in Norwegian only), with the county municipality, the responsible party pursuant to the Dental Care Act (in Norwegian only), and with regional health institutions.
The general health and food legislation applies to the responsible party and for the public administration, including the health service. In addition, the Framework Regulations, the Management Regulations and these regulations apply to the responsible party. Pursuant to the Health and Care Services Act, the municipality shall ensure the necessary health service for everyone residing or temporarily staying within its area, including at onshore facilities. This includes preventive and curative health services, etc. as mentioned in Section 3-2, cf. Section 3-1, of the Health and Care Services Act (in Norwegian only). Chapter 3 of the Public Health Act (in Norwegian only) relating to environmental health protection with associated regulations as well as the Control of Communicable Diseases Act (in Norwegian only) contain certain provisions which are directed at (industrial) enterprises and others in the municipality. The Control of Communicable Diseases Act also contains certain provisions for the health service.
Chapter 2 of the Specialist Health Service Act (in Norwegian only) regulates the responsibility for specialist health services.
Health personnel in public and private health services, including occupational health services, shall provide immediate assistance pursuant to the provisions in Section 7 of the Health Personnel Act (in Norwegian only).
Reference is also made to the Norwegian Industrial Safety and Security Organisation's provisions and guidelines for industrial safety organisations.
In the current situation, the Norwegian Directorate of Health has not found any basis for proposing a legal basis for generally, or following a specific evaluation, imposing responsibility for curative health services on onshore facilities on the operator or the party responsible for the activities, neither during emergencies and accident situations nor otherwise. The operator can, on a voluntary basis, establish a private health service, alternatively use company health service personnel also for curative purposes.
Systems for contact and exchange of information relating to health matters
The requirement to contact and to exchange information as mentioned in the first and second subsections should be seen in context of, inter alia, Section 5 of the Public Health Act. According to this provision, the municipality shall at all times have the overview of the health situation in the population and the factors that may influence it. See also Regulation no. 692 of 28 June 2012 concerning the overview of public health. The municipality shall implement necessary measures to meet the municipality’s health challenges according to the overview; see Section 7 of the Public Health Act. The municipality can cooperate with private organisations, etc., where suitable to promote the health service's purposes, cf. Section 3-4, first subsection of the Health and Care Services Act.
Hygienic conditions as mentioned in the second subsection, includes, inter alia, contagion protection, cleaning and drinking water supply.
Risk and vulnerability analyses
The risk and vulnerability analyses as mentioned in the third subsection, will form the basis for the operator's information to the public health service, so that this can be dimensioned to cover the need for health assistance at the onshore facility.
The health-related emergency preparedness which the regulations make the operator responsible for, should include
- advice to and professional guidance of relevant personnel on onshore facilities,
- communication with public emergency preparedness resources,
- prioritisation of transport for injured and sick persons.
Food and drinking water
As regards foods, etc., the provisions of the Food Act (in Norwegian only) apply. As regards water supply and drinking water in the enterprise, the provisions of the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only) apply. The regulations were stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Care Services for implementation of the drinking water directive 98/83/EEC, included in the EEA Agreement on 25 January 2001. The regulations are now the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Care Services.
The party responsible shall ensure that production, packing, storage, transport and the offering of foods take place in accordance with the food legislation.
Technical solutions for food and drinking water supply shall comply with the provisions in the Food Regulations for onshore activities as well as the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only). In addition, the technical solutions should be based on recognised methods to the extent possible.
The prohibition against polluting drinking water systems and internal distribution systems in Section 4 of the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only), apply to everyone, including operators of petroleum activities and owners of onshore facilities, and regardless of who the waterworks owner is. The water supply system and internal distribution system are defined in Section 3 of these regulations.
The operator or others participating in the activities, including owners of onshore facilities, may be the owner of (parts of) a water supply system. The owner will be subject to the provisions that apply for waterworks owners pursuant to the Drinking Water Regulations, cf. the definitions of water supply systems and waterworks owners in Section 3, litera k and m of the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only).
The waterworks owner shall ensure that the drinking water fulfils the requirements relating to quality, quantity and supply security when delivering to recipients, cf. Section 5, first subsection of the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only). If there are multiple waterworks owners on the route from water source to consumer, an owner later on the route, that may be an operator of petroleum activities, will be responsible vis-à-vis the recipient, also for poor water quality caused by a waterworks owner earlier on the route, pursuant to the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only). However, the operator can in certain cases hold its supplier responsible, cf. civil law rules.
As the owner of an internal distribution grid, the operator and others are responsible for drinking water quality as stipulated in Section 5, final subsection of the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only), i.e. for ensuring that the drinking water quality, when the water is offered to the consumer, is not impaired beyond the requirements in the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only). However, pursuant to the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only), the owner of an internal distribution grid, however, is not responsible for a sufficient amount of water and supply security, which the waterworks owner is.
Reference is made to the Guidelines to the Drinking Water Regulations and the most recently updated available guideline material from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health relating to how to ensure drinking water with sufficient quality.
Concerning supervision of foods and drinking water: In accordance with the Petroleum Act with regulations, the Norwegian Board of Health supervises foods, drinking water supply systems and internal distribution systems within the fences of onshore petroleum facilities. Basically, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority or its authorised representative conducts supervision in accordance with the Food Act (in Norwegian only). For land-based public or private water supplies which the onshore facility is connected to, the municipality also conducts supervision in addition to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, pursuant to Section 9 of the Public Health Act (in Norwegian only). The Norwegian Board of Health has in practice been delegated the supervisory authority in accordance with the Food Act (in Norwegian only) and coordinates the supervision with the municipalities within the onshore facilities.