“Serious incidents affect many people,” says Finn Carlsen, director of professional competence at the PSA. “It’s very important that the whole industry, and the PSA, learn from them in order to prevent anything similar happening again.”

The government has earmarked funds from 2022 to strengthen and continue developing the PSA’s work in following up serious incidents.

“We’re now launching a wide-ranging effort,” reports Carlsen. “The goal is to become better at learning lessons so that we can prevent new incidents from occurring and ensure a continuous improvement in the level of safety.”

Work on following up serious incidents involves strengthening and further developing:

  • notification and follow-up of incidents
  • investigation methodology
  • tools for analysing and assessing trends related to RNNP data on trends in risk level in the petroleum activity
  • sharing information on incidents
  • capacity and resources for following up serious incidents.

 “When an incident occurs, it’s important to secure the essential information,” explains Carlsen. “That’s why investigating incidents is the most important tool we have.

“The quality of such investigations is good today, but we see that it could be even better. So this is one of the areas we’re working on and will continue to seek improvements in as part of our overall commitment.”

Learn, prevent, improve

“In addition to investigating each incident, it’s important to see them in context,” he says. “We then use our RNNP analysis tool to seek out possible trends. We can then also use this information to prevent recurrence and achieve continuous improvement in the sector.

“Knowledge is the key to improvement, and we’ll be conducting a number of projects related to investigation methods – how we identify what’s important information. We’ll also be working on expertise, and on ensuring that investigators have competence in the latest methods.

“In addition, it’s very important that the information is communicated to the users. Digital solutions and further development of those already in use by the PSA and the recipient side will be part of the commitment there.”

Global drive

This commitment is also part of an international drive. The PSA is working with a number of safety regulators in other countries, including through the International Regulators' Forum, and has challenged the petroleum industry globally to get better at investigating and learning from incidents.

“We believe the contribution we’re now making from the Norwegian side will also be important in boosting these efforts across the whole petroleum sector worldwide.”


The PSA has clear expectations that the rest of the industry will contribute to this work, Carlsen emphasises.

“This is definitely not a project we own alone. We must achieve an enhancement here through the tripartite collaboration between companies, unions and government. We’ll work closely and well with both unions and employer organisations to achieve an improvement.

“We expect to see knowledge projects and competence enhancements out in the industry as well, so that we obtain even better investigation quality, improved quality and openness in information sharing, and not least even greater and more active use of the results for achieving good solutions so that we avoid similar incidents happening again.”