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Audit of emergency preparedness on West Alpha

Audit: During the period from 24 to 26 November, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision (Htil) conducted an audit of the general emergency and medical preparedness on the drilling facility West Alpha operated by Seadrill Management AS. We identified three nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements, as well as eight potential improvement items.


On 23 November 2009, Htil held a start-up meeting with the onshore organisation.

The audit was conducted as document reviews, interviews, a tour of West Alpha (photo) and observation of an emergency preparedness exercise.

West Alpha (source: Seadrill)

Background for the audit
West Alpha is a semi-submersible drilling facility operated by Seadrill. The facility received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) on 31 December 2001.

The audit of medical preparedness was based on Chapter III of the Activities Regulations. As regards emergency preparedness, the audit was mainly based on Chapters VI-II and XI, as well as Section 3 of the Framework Regulations, cf. the Norwegian Maritime Directorate’s Regulations 853/07 relating to means of rescue and evacuation on mobile facilities (the Rescue Regulations).

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify that the facility’s emergency preparedness organisation and equipment complied with the above-mentioned regulations.

With regard to health preparedness, Htil focussed on verifying that the company’s management has access to resources, handling and competence to meet first aid, treatment and transportation needs in an emergency situation involving personal injuries. 

Result of the audit
The PSA and Htil audit teams identified three nonconformities in total:

  • Insufficient labelling and signposting of escape routes and equipment
  • In some areas, first aid equipment was insufficient or not available
  • A systematic review had not been conducted to prevent incompatible tasks in the emergency preparedness organisation.

In addition, we identified eight improvement items.

Journal 2009/1063 (document in Norwegian)

Mike Theiss, Principal engineer
Email: michael.theiss@ptil.no |