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Audit of identification and follow-up of risk-exposed groups at Kollsnes

Audit: During the period from 2 to 4 November 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil’s and selected contractors’ management of working environment conditions at Kollsnes. We identified three nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements and two improvement items.

The audit included a review of how Statoil, Aibel and Norisol identify and follow up the risk-exposed group insulators and scaffolders through their working environment management system.

The audit also included painters/surface treatment technicians employed by BIS.

We assessed the distribution of responsibility and cooperation with contractors and sub-contractors in their work to identify and follow-up risk-exposed groups.

We have engaged consultants from Occupational Hygiene Solutions (OHS) who participated in the audit. OHS has prepared a risk profile for the group insulators.

The audit was based on the following statutory and regulatory requirements:

  • The Working Environment Act and underlying working environment regulations
  • Temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain petroleum facilities on land and associated pipeline systems (temporary regulations)
  • Regulations relating to systematic health, environment and safety work in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulations).

About the Kollsnes facility
Gas from the Kvitebjørn field is brought onshore and treated at the Natural Gas Liquid facility at Kollsnes in Øygarden municipality in the county of Hordaland (photo).

Kollsnes (source: Gassco)

The gas is compressed at Kollsnes before it is transported to the Continent. Gassco is the operator for Kollsnes. Statoil is the technical service provider and responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility.

Background for the audit
The audit activity is one of our main priorities for 2009: risk-exposed groups. This was also a main priority in 2007 and in 2008 and will continue to be so in 2010. The objective of our focus in 2009 is to:

Contribute to reducing the risk of injury and illness for groups that are particularly exposed to risks by

  • following up to ensure that the companies continue to develop a comprehensive picture of the risk of illness and injury for groups of employees, and that new knowledge is actively used in a risk-based approach where efforts are aimed at groups where the need and effect are the greatest
  • helping to clarify links between framework conditions and risks
  • following up to ensure that the players collectively further develop framework conditions that contribute to ensuring high HSE standards for all groups

Risk-exposed groups was also one of our main priorities in 2007 and 2008. We conducted several activities during this period, including a broad-based audit activity targeting seven operators and eight contractors under contract.

One of the main conclusions from the audit activities in this area is that contractor-employed groups have a significantly weaker position as regards several of the elements under HSE management, compared with operator-employed groups.

It has emerged that framework conditions such as contractual conditions, economic factors and organisation of work may contribute to the poorer results for contractor groups.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify how Statoil, Aibel, Norisol and BIS identify and follow up risk-exposed groups through their working environment management system.

Result of the audit
We observed several good HSE-related measures and processes; however, during the audit we identified the following nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements:

  • Insufficient mapping and assessment of the risk of working environment-related illness and injuries for the group’s insulators and scaffolders
  • Norisol employees have not received systematic training and information regarding working environment risks
  • It has not been adequately ensured that the work is properly facilitated and that measures have been implemented to ensure that hazardous exposure and unfortunate physical strain are avoided for insulators and scaffolders.

The following improvement items were identified

  • Roles have not been sufficiently clarified between the various company health services, Statoil’s health and working environment department (the HAM department) as regards responsibility for mapping, risk assessment and follow-up of contractors/sub-contractors
  • Unclear communication channels for exchange of HSE information between company health services/the HAM department and between company health services and employees.

Journal 2009/795 (documents in Norwegian)

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