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Audit of emergency preparedness on Veslefrikk

During the period 17-19 October 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of emergency preparedness on board the Veslefrikk A and B facilities. Our general impression following the audit is that emergency preparedness on board Veslefrikk A and B is safeguarded in a satisfactory manner, although we did identify two nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements.

Veslefrikk A and B

Veslefrikk A (on left) and B (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

The audit targeted the area of emergency preparedness, with emphasis on the facilities' means of evacuation, emergency response organization, emergency preparedness equipment and the competence of the personnel as compared with the emergency response functions they perform.

During the audit we conducted interviews and conversations with managers, technical personnel and the safety delegate service on board. We also observed an emergency preparedness exercise, an MOB boat exercise and conducted inspections on both facilities.

Background for the audit
The audit was mainly based on the Activities Regulations, Chapter VI-II relating to competence and Chapter XI relating to emergency preparedness.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify that StatoilHydro safeguards emergency preparedness factors on Veslefrikk A and B in accordance with regulatory requirements, including organization and safeguarding of its own emergency response organization, means of evacuation, maintenance of emergency preparedness equipment and maintenance of the personnel's competence related to the emergency response functions assigned to them.

In this audit of Veslefrikk we also wanted to verify the preconditions used as a basis by StatoilHydro when applying for exemption from regulatory requirements as regards means of evacuation on the facilities.

Result of the audit
We did not identify any factors during the audit that will lead to a notification of order, however, there were two factors which we characterize as nonconformities:

  • Performance requirements as regards emergency preparedness are not followed up through measurement and evaluation of results.
  • No strategy has been prepared for reducing the workforce and evacuation of the Veslefrikk facilities when the weather is so bad that the lifeboats can no longer be used for evacuation to sea.

Eight factors with potential for improvement have also been identified.

The most important finding is that no detailed strategy has been set for reducing the workforce and possible evacuation of Veslefrikk B when the lifeboats cannot be used due to bad weather.

The following factors are discussed in more detail under Item 5.0 of the audit report, "Observations":

  • Information
  • Safety belts in lifeboats
  • Training and exercises
  • Changing tasks on the emergency response team
  • Marking/signposting of main escape routes
  • Condition of means of evacuation
  • Muster location
  • Training with MOB boat/crane

An emergency preparedness exercise was conducted during our stay on Veslefrikk A and B. We have no further comments regarding the implementation of this exercise, other than the comments made by the PSA in the summary following the exercise.

Otherwise, our general impression subsequent to the audit is that emergency preparedness on board Veslefrikk A and B is safeguarded in a satisfactory manner, but that there is room for improvement.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss