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Increased knowledge about chemicals requires commitment

The petroleum industry project regarding chemical health risk has provided new knowledge regarding chemical risk. Finn Carlsen, Director for Supervisory Activities in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) emphasises that the knowledge first becomes valuable when it is converted into accurate measures.

Procure, collect, spread has been the motto for the petroleum industry project within chemical health risk. At a summary conference in Stavanger on 13 December, 210 participants received up-to-the-minute sub-reports and a glimpse of the results from the project.

The project, which has lasted over four years, has invested nearly NOK 20 million to increase expertise in the industry.

The project has

  • Acquired new knowledge regarding correlations between chemical exposure and health effects
  • Collected and systemised existing knowledge
  • Been a significant initiator to spread knowledge in the industry

The knowledge will now be realised as a best practice which will result in lower risk for the employees.

Knowledge must be realised as measures
“The companies must know when to act and show that they are able to use the new knowledge basis actively in their improvement work,” said OLF chairman, Steinar Våge in his speech.

SAFE’s head, Hilde-Marit Rysst, noted the serious backdrop for the project.

”All too often, we have experienced that members in the association have become disabled by serious diseases following chemical exposure.”

The PSA will follow up the industry
The PSA has participated as an observer in the multipartite project steering group.

Director of Supervisory Activities, Finn Carlsen emphasised in his speech that the wide party representation in the project provides a good foundation.

”The companies must keep working together to find good solutions through exchanging data and experience,” said Carlsen.

”The chemical management must be so precise, robust and proactive that we don’t experience any unpleasant surprises in the future because the risk was not identified and handled early enough.”

There are clear regulatory requirements in this area and the PSA will follow up further work in companies and the industry.