§ 10 Prudent activities
The activities shall be prudent, based both on an individual and an overall assessment of all factors of relevance for planning and implementation of the activities as regards health, safety and the environment. Consideration shall also be given to the specific nature of the activities, local conditions and operational assumptions.
A high level for health, safety and the environment shall be established, maintained and further developed.
Section last changed: 01 January 2011
This is a key provision for the activities, and it mainly continues current law, cf. e.g. Section 10-1 of the Petroleum Act and Section 4-1 of the Working Environment Act, cf. also the other sections of Chapter 4 and Section 9 of the previous safety regulations regarding prudent operations, which apply to both the health and safety areas. For onshore facilities, reference is also made to the Fire and Explosion Protection Act (in Norwegian only). For health-related matters, reference is made to Section 16 with guidelines. When the term "prudent" is used here, this does not entail a substantive change in relation to the Working Environment Act's prudence concept, which is ”fully satisfactory”. Here, enterprise means the same as in the Working Environment Act, which means that the term is almost synonymous with company.
The requirement in the first subsection for an overall assessment is based on a comprehensive health, safety and environment view for the individual enterprise. The opportunity to carry out comprehensive assessments will vary from enterprise to enterprise based on which factors to be evaluated. The first subsection, second sentence also designates that, in addition to other relevant factors, consideration shall be given to the enterprise's character, local conditions and operational prerequisites in the assessment. An individual and overall assessment can e.g. be that factors such as noise and climatic conditions shall not only be evaluated as individual factors, but that the responsible party, insofar as possible, shall evaluate the overall load the individual factors can result in. In the scope of the Working Environment Act, the requirement is directed towards all factors that can impact the employees' physical and psychological health and welfare. Which initiatives the individual enterprise shall implement to fulfil the requirement for prudent operations follows from requirements in the health, safety and environment legislation. However, the requirements shall be seen in relation to the fact that the level of health, safety and environment shall be further developed, e.g. in relation to the technological development, cf. second subsection and the enabling acts' purpose provisions.
It follows from the Petroleum Act, the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only), the Working Environment Act, the Fire and Explosion Protection Act (in Norwegian only) and the health legislation that the level described in the second subsection shall be developed in line with the technological development, and also with the general social development, cf. the provisions regarding purpose and regarding requirements for prudent operations in the enabling acts.
To facilitate such a development, the authorities have chosen to mainly use functional requirements in the regulations, which describe what shall be achieved rather than providing specific solutions. When determining the level of the regulations, the authorities' interpretations of the regulations, in addition to the wording of the regulations, administrative decisions made and guidelines provided by the authorities, will be key.
Other Norwegian legislation can also be relevant as sources of law in the supervision of the petroleum activities. Reference is made to Section 1-5 of the Petroleum Act, which provides for application of other Norwegian law in the petroleum activities.
Reference is made to Section 24 as regards application of standards in the health, safety and working environment area recommended by the authorities in the guidelines regarding the supplementary regulations.
The provision will be enforced in light of the activity it applies to, whether this is high-risk operations and activities with major accident potential, or whether this is construction assignments or the like of a lesser scope and with lower risk.