§ 24 Use of recognised standards
When the responsible party makes use of a standard recommended in the guidelines to a provision of the regulations, as a means of complying with the requirements of the regulations in the area of health, safety and the working environment, the responsible party can normally assume that the regulatory requirements have been met.
When other solutions than those recommended in the guidelines to a provision of the regulations are used, the responsible party shall be able to document that the chosen solution fulfils the regulatory requirements. Combinations of parts of standards shall be avoided, unless the responsible party is able to document that an equivalent level for health, safety and the working environment can be achieved.
Existing documentation, including maritime certificates issued by Norwegian or foreign flag state authorities, can be used as a basis to document compliance with requirements stipulated in or in pursuance of these regulations.
Section last changed: 01 January 2019
Use of recommended standards in the health, safety and working environment area
In activities covered by these regulations and regulations stipulated in pursuance of them, usage or customs in the industry, requirements and specifications evident from other documents, such as industry standards, which are nationally and internationally recognised within a specific discipline, e.g. standards that have been prepared under the auspices of CEN, CENELEC, ISO and IEC, will be normative. The same applies to industry standards prepared under the auspices of NORSOK, API and others.
The authorities' recommended solutions are indicated in the guidelines for the individual sections in the supplementary regulations. The authorities recommend the use of various industry standards or other normative documents, possibly with supplementary addendums evident from the guidelines, as a means to fulfil the regulatory requirements. Reference is made to such normative documents with date of publication and publishing/revision number, e.g. NORSOK xx, revision xx (date) in the reference lists in the guidelines regarding the regulations. The recommended solution becomes a recognised norm through this reference in the guidelines for the regulations. In areas where industry standards are not published, or these are not found satisfactory, the authorities will, in some cases, describe solutions in the guidelines for the provisions that indicate ways to fulfil the regulatory requirements. Such recommendations have the same status as recommended industry standards, as mentioned. According to the first subsection, the responsible party can normally assume that the recommended solution fulfils the relevant regulatory requirement.
Use of recognised standards is voluntary to the extent that other technical solutions, methods or procedures can be chosen if the responsible party can document that regulatory requirements will be fulfilled, cf. second subsection. When using other solutions than those recommended in the guidelines for a regulatory provision, this entails that, in accordance with the second subsection, the responsible party shall be able to document that the chosen solution fulfils the regulatory requirements. It is presumed that the regulations and the guidelines are viewed in context to achieve the best possible understanding of the desired level of achievement through the regulations. Standards recommended in the guidelines will be key in interpreting the individual regulatory requirements and in determining the level of health, safety and working environment. Combinations of parts of standards should be avoided, insofar as the responsible party cannot document that a corresponding level of health, safety and working environment is achieved.
The terms "should" and "can" are used in the guidelines regarding the supplementary regulations when reference is made to recommended solutions for fulfilling the regulatory requirements. In this context, the following is meant by these terms:
"Should", means the authorities' recommended way of fulfilling the functional requirement. Alternative solutions with documented corresponding functionality and quality can be used without having to present this to the authorities.
"Can", means an alternative, equal way of fulfilling the regulatory requirements, e.g. where the guidelines recommend using maritime standards as an alternative to following a NORSOK standard.
When the industry or others publish standards, it is normally assumed that the standards will be used as a basis for new facilities and for the field the standard describes. Where the authorities recommend using such standards, it is thus not the intention to go beyond the assumptions provided for the standards, unless specifically mentioned.
In the event of major rebuilding or modifications to existing facilities, the new standards should be used. If it is not appropriate to use new standards, this should be based on safety-related considerations. Safety-related reasons to not use new standards can e.g. be that the use of new standards for existing solutions is considered to result in a particular risk. Existing facilities are facilities for which the Plan for Development and Operations (PDO) is approved, or a special permission has been granted under a PIO, cf. Sections 4-2 and 4-3 of the Petroleum Act, respectively, or facilities where an Acknowledgement of Compliance has been issued, or facilities that are comprised by a consent to carry out petroleum activities.
As regards the importance of previously granted exemptions for the facility for which consent is being sought, reference is made to the Guidelines regarding Section 70, final paragraph and Section 26 of the supplementary Management Regulations.
The term shall is also used in the guidelines regarding the regulations. In this context, shall means a direct rendering of a statutory or regulatory requirement.
In addition to standards as described in the first paragraph, rules prepared by classification institutions, regulations prepared by other public authorities that do not directly apply to the petroleum activities, but which are still relevant for the field, and regulatory requirements that are not directly applied to the petroleum activities, but which govern corresponding or adjacent areas, for example requirements stipulated by the Norwegian Maritime Authority, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, etc., can also be referred to in the guidelines as normative.
The first and second subsections do not apply to requirements related to external environment, i.e. the scope of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) and the Product Control Act (in Norwegian only). As regards requirements to the external environment, it is the responsible party's task to assess how regulatory requirements best can be fulfilled. In such cases, the guidelines to the regulations shall contribute to understanding and explanation of the requirements, which includes providing suggestions for how a requirement can be fulfilled. References to standards in the guidelines are examples of suggestions for how requirements can be fulfilled.
In some cases, it is important that everyone fulfills a requirement in the same way. In order to ensure equal handling in such cases, guidelines or standards are specified in the regulations. In these cases, the use of guidelines or standards will be legally binding. Examples of such a requirement are Section 34 of the Management Regulations and Sections 52 to 55 and 61a of the Activities Regulations.