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About the HSE regulations

Five sets of regulations have been adopted for health, safety and the environment (HSE) in Norway’s offshore petroleum sector and at selected petroleum plants on land.


Photo from the Melkøya plant

These regulations consist largely of risk- and performance-based requirements. They regulate important aspects of HSE for the petroleum industry in an integrated and coherent manner.

The regulations are presented below.

THE FRAMEWORK REGULATIONS
Regulations relating to health, safety and the environment in the petroleum activities and at certain onshore facilities 

These apply both offshore and on land.

Issued by royal decree,  they are enforced by the ministries, ourselves, the Norwegian Environment Agency and the health authorities.

The regulations provide a framework for comprehensive and prudent activities, and contain provisions on such matters as:

  • scope
  • responsible parties (assignment of responsibility)
  • risk reduction principles
  • application of maritime regulations as an alternative to certain technical requirements in the petroleum regulations for mobile facilities
  • principles for HSE, including requirements for a good HSE culture.

Certain special rules pursuant to the Working Environment Act which apply to offshore activities are incorporated in the regulations. These relate to such matters as working hours, time off and offshore tours.

The regulations emphasise the right of employees to be involved in all processes which may have an impact on HSE in the sector.

THE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
Regulations relating to management and the duty to provide information in the petroleum activities and at certain onshore facilities
These apply both offshore and on land.

They are issued and enforced by ourselves as well as by the Norwegian Environment Agency and the health authorities.

The regulations bring together all overall management requirements relating to HSE, and specify requirements for such aspects as:

  • risk reduction
  • barriers
  • management elements
  • resources and processes
  • analyses and measurements
  • handling of nonconformities and improvements.

In addition, they contain requirements relating to the material and information which must be submitted or made available to the regulators, such as applications for consent, notifications, statements and reporting.

THE ACTIVITIES REGULATIONS
Regulations relating to conducting petroleum activities
These apply offshore.

They are issued and enforced by ourselves as well as by the Norwegian Environment Agency and the health authorities.

The regulations govern the way various activities are conducted, and specify requirements for such aspects as:

  • planning and monitoring
  • operational preconditions for start-up and use
  • working environment factors
  • facilitating work
  • health-related factors
  • the natural environment
  • emergency preparedness
  • drilling and well activities
  • maritime operations
  • maintenance
  • manned underwater operations.

THE FACIILITIES REGULATIONS
Regulations relating to design and outfitting of facilities, etc, in the petroleum activities
These apply offshore.

They are issued and enforced by ourselves as well as by the Norwegian Environment Agency and the health authorities.

The regulations govern the design and outfitting of facilities, and specify requirements for such aspects as:

  • robust solutions
  • safety functions and loads
  • materials
  • work and recreational areas
  • physical barriers
  • emergency preparedness
  • drilling and well systems
  • maritime facilities.

THE TECHNICAL AND OPERATIONAL REGULATIONS
Regulations relating to technical and operational matters at onshore facilities in the petroleum activities, etc
These apply to land-based facilities. Their structure and content mirror the facilities and activities regulations.

They are issued and enforced by ourselves and the health authorities.

Guidelines 
We have issued guidelines to the five sets of regulations.

These are not legally binding. The regulations and the guidelines should be viewed jointly in order to obtain the best possible understanding of what the government wishes to achieve by their means.