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Anne Myhrvold – reversing the trend

PSA director general Anne Myhrvold has called on Norway’s petroleum industry to get safety developments back on track. “Words must become deeds,” she says. “The negative trend is going to be reversed, and we haven’t much time.”

The PSA has set an ambitious goal for 2017, which will require an extensive collective effort by the whole industry – reversing the trend.

Myhrvold explains the background for this choice of main issue for the year as follows:

“We have a high level of health, safety and the environment [HSE] in this industry. There’s no doubt about that.

“Overall, however, we see that developments in the past two years have been characterised by safety challenges and serious events.

“Cost cuts appear to be a contributory factor. Now’s the time to reverse this trend.”

She points to two important considerations in this context:

  • the goal set by the Storting (parliament) that Norway should be the world leader for HSE in the petroleum sector
  • the requirement in the regulations that the level of safety should be continuously improved.

The PSA is staging an open meeting with the industry on Thursday 23 February to discuss the safety position and what must be done to get developments back on the right track.

“We’re fully aware that it’s very difficult to complete a big turnaround operation in just one year,” Myhrvold says.

“However, we expect the companies to achieve visible and measurable results during 2017 in key safety areas. And we expect the work to continue for as long as necessary.”

Areas of special focus
Efforts to reverse the trend will concentrate primarily on three basic aspects of the Norwegian safety regime – inter-party collaboration between employers and employees and government, standardisation and robustness.

“The whole industry – but management first and foremost – will need to make a big commitment if we’re going to succeed in turning things around,” says Myhrvold.

“Executives bear the day-to-day responsibility for managing risk in all their operations. They’re also in overall charge of safety and the working environment in both short and long terms.”

Identify measures
“Specifically, we now expect management to put safety and the working environment even higher up the agenda and to identify measures and solutions which help to reverse the trend,” she says.

“It’s important in this context that the leadership is cogent, clear and easy to understand in its dialogue with the workforce.”

Following up
The PSA will be following up and supervising a big and complex industry while enforcing the regulations, Myhrvold adds.

“We’ll be making purposeful use of the tools at our disposal during 2017 to help ensure that the trend is reversed.”

A careful eye will be kept by the authority on the way the industry works with these challenges, and it will be summing up the results achieved at the end of November.