The Safety Forum shall be used as an arena for mutual sharing of knowledge and information and for experience transfer in order to identify new challenges and trends – from both a national and an international perspective.

This shall be accomplished by means of the Safety Forum:

  • being represented by managers, HSE personnel and key decision-makers among the parties in the industry and in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as an active observer
  • facilitating and stimulating cooperation and debate on key HSE challenges in the petroleum activities, both offshore and at onshore facilities
  • being an arena for debate on, and a driver and instigator of, strategic HSE projects and processes within the framework of the PSA's area of responsibility
  • being a driving force behind HSE information and knowledge sharing and the development and establishment of positive HSE cultures and practices between the parties and the authorities pursuant to Section 1 of the Working Environment Act.

The Safety Forum’s priorities 

Major accident risk

In addition to its human aspects, a major accident will have great societal and socio-economic consequences. The management of major accident risk is therefore an area of special concern for the Safety Forum.

In order to understand the causes of major accidents – so as to be able to initiate effective measures – their mutually dependent factors must be seen in context, specifically technology, management systems, organisation, human factors and culture.

The Safety Forum will:

  • gather knowledge and experiences from actual major accidents and near-misses
  • use data from RNNP (Trends in risk level in the petroleum activity) as a basis for the approach to major accident risk management
  • have major accident risk as a main theme in Safety Forum meetings and invite to the forum those who work on major accident risk in the industry, in order to report on management and continuous improvement in the area
  • recognise the key role of corporate governance in managing major accident risk. The decisions that corporate governance makes in managing the business can contribute to bolstering or weakening safety-critical barriers
  • examine operational, administrative and technical barriers to managing major accident risk.

Working environment risk

Workers can be exposed to a range of hazards in the working environment, such as hazardous chemicals, noise and vibration, heavy lifting and difficult working positions and challenging organisational/psychosocial conditions.

The Safety Forum is committed to sound risk management in the working environment domain, so that hazardous factors do not represent an unacceptable risk to workers’ health. Barriers and robust working practices are key elements, in addition to knowledge of long-term effects and long-term injuries.  

A sound working environment is important in itself, but is also a key prerequisite for maintaining a low major accident risk.

The Safety Forum will:

  • use RNNP data as a basis for examining the management of working environment risk in the companies
  • monitor large projects in the industry to reduce working environment risk, such as the implementation of measures following the chemicals project and the noise project

  • focus on particularly at-risk groups

  • obtain an overview of occupational diseases and injuries of persons affected

  • invite to the forum sectoral organisations and centres of excellence in order to discuss follow-up measures.

Collaboration and participation

The Safety Forum is a tripartite collaboration between the authorities, employers’ organisations and employees’ organisations. The Safety Forum shall facilitate and monitor the industry’s adoption of the mandated systems for safeguarding HSE collaboration. This includes facilitating bipartite collaboration, but only as pertains to HSE.

Collaboration ensures learning, continuous improvement, progress and adaptability throughout the contract chain. Collaboration is one of the pillars of safety work, whereas the arenas for such collaboration are vulnerable.

The Safety Forum will:

  • follow up and contribute to ensuring the participation schemes function as intended in all phases of activities

  • identify improvement needs and follow up measures for safeguarding overall guidelines and ambitions for the tripartite cooperation

  • increase knowledge of the regulations, standards and guidelines – and thereby contribute to genuine participation

  • follow up relevant political decisions by Parliament with the three parties in the industry.

The importance of framework conditions for safety and the working environment

Framework conditions cover a broad spectrum, with most of them not encompassed by the Safety Forum’s mandate. Changes in framework conditions may however affect health, safety and the environment, and hence also influence major accident and working environment risk. It is therefore appropriate to discuss changes in relevant framework conditions in the Safety Forum, and the potential influences these may have on health, safety and the environment.  

Stable and long-term framework conditions create predictability. Good framework conditions for safeguarding health, safety and the environment, are about facilitating continuous improvement so that safety-critical tasks are performed with due prudence.  

The Safety Forum will:

  • elucidate changes in relevant framework conditions and their impact on safe, environmentally friendly and efficient operations
  • track trends and development trends in the industry
  • discuss conditions that may contribute to the petroleum industry achieving sound framework conditions and a good reputation
  • be aware of framework conditions for contractors so as to facilitate participation in the handling of HSE risk linked to the performance of their assignments.