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Audit of preparedness, radio and telecommunications - Heimdal

During the period 16-18 November 2010, the PSA carried out an audit of the Heimdal facility, focusing on emergency preparedness and systems for radio and telecommunications.

The audit activity was conducted with professional assistance from Telenor Maritime Radio, Radio Inspection.

Heimdal is operated by Statoil Petroleum AS (Statoil). Heimdal consists of two facilities, Heimdal Main Platform (HMP) and Heimdal Riser Platform (HRP). These are linked by a bridge.

The audit was executed in accordance with the PSA’s procedure regarding audits. The audit covered various activities such as review of documents, interviews, on-site inspections, meetings/presentations, verifications, inspections and observations of meetings and drills.

Prior to the trip to the facility, the PSA discussed the audit with Statoil’s authority communication contact. Key steering documents regarding preparedness matters were reviewed.

On board the facility, the audit team started with a safety round. Following this, a start-up meeting was executed. Those present at the meeting were leading personnel on board, corresponding personnel from the onshore organisation, and representatives from the safety team.

Further, inspections and tests of technical teleinstallations, radio and telecommunications systems on board the facility were carried out, as well as an assessment of use and maintenance of these. Personnel in preparedness functions as well as personnel with responsibilities related to radio and telecommunications systems were interviewed. The audit team completed approx 15 interviews between approx. 25 employees and held a separate meeting with the safety delegates. The audit team also observed the execution of a preparedness drill involving the whole preparedness organisation on the facility.

An inspection of the facility was carried out. Limited verifications of expertise overviews of personnel in preparedness functions, and reviews of other documents regarding previously conducted drills and practices, analyses etc. were also carried out. Finally, a debriefing session was held on board where the audit team informed those present of their observations.

The audit activity was well-facilitated by Statoil, and the involved personnel contributed constructively and positively.

Statoil were notified of the audit 1 September 2010, as a planned activity in accordance with the PSA’s audit plan 2010.

The audit activity was aimed at the area of emergency preparedness, and with professional assistance from Radio Inspection (Telenor) with regard to systems for radio and telecommunications. Key regulatory provisions related to this audit activity are: ”The Activities Regulations, Chapter VI regarding operational preconditions for start-up and use; Chapter XIII regarding emergency preparedness and Chapter XIV regarding Communication and Chapter IV of the Management Regulations regarding resources and processes.”

The audit activity is rooted in one of the PSA’s main priorities for 2010 regarding technical and operational barriers.

The audit activity was aimed at the area of emergency preparedness where the goal was to assess how preparedness is safeguarded on the facility, and whether the group is operating within the requirements set in the HSE regulations for the petroleum activities on the Norwegian continental shelf and within Statoil’s own company-internal requirements and steering documents. Requirements set by the authorities and Statoil’s company-internal requirements are therefore to be considered audit criteria.

The audit covered the following topics:


  • Management, leadership and organisation of the preparedness and area preparedness
  • Management of expertise of personnel in preparedness functions (requirements and follow-up)
  • Systems for the execution of and learning from drills and training
  • Maintenance of preparedness equipment, including signage and labelling of escape routes
  • Technical safety condition (TSC) status of preparedness conditions
  • Drill, based on a major accident scenario
  • MOB boat drill

Systems for radio and telecommunications:

  • Internal and external communication systems
  • Communication procedures, guarding and routines for internal and external communication
  • Radio equipment in life-saving appliances and life-saving tools
  • Organisation, expertise and training within radio communication
  • Examination and maintenance of radio and telecommunication systems, including batteries and other power sources

The audit was executed according to the plan, with the exception of the MOB boat drill. Our main impression is that preparedness is sufficiently taken into account on Heimdal. Still, the need for improvements of technical, operative and organisational conditions in order to safeguard preparedness even more was registered.


The following nonconformities were identified:

  • Insufficient robustness of preparedness organisation, preparedness functions and preparedness equipment
  • Deficient management of capacity and expertise within preparedness functions
  • Inadequate safety signs and labelled escape routes
  • There was no defined head of communications or similar
  • Inadequate equipment for external communication

The following improvement points were identified:

  • Deficient systems for personnel management
  • Insufficient systematism regarding uniform experience transference systems
  • Inadequate coordination regarding labelling of lifeboats
  • Deficient routines for testing VHF radio station
  • Inadequate labelling of emergency radio equipment
  • Flawed battery chargers in lifeboats
  • VHF DSC watch receiver not working
  • Deficient maintenance of antennae and cables
  • Insufficient UHF radio signal
  • Insufficient dimensioning of power supply to communication systems

Øyvind Midttun, press contact
Email: oyvind.midttun@ptil.no | +47 51 87 34 77