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Audit of facilitation of notification of censurable conditions

Audit: The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority conducted an audit in 2008 of how several companies facilitate notification of censurable conditions.


Background for the audit
On 1 January 2007, the rules of the Working Environment Act, relating to notification about censurable conditions in the undertaking came into force.

The rules are meant to facilitate an open HSE culture in working life and provide protection for employees who find it necessary to blow the whistle on censurable or illegal conditions in the workplace. These are conditions which employees perceive to be in conflict with rules and regulations, with their own company guidelines, or with the general understanding of what is ethically acceptable.

By facilitating notification, the enterprise demonstrates its intention to foster an open culture which promotes trust and communication, that it takes its employees seriously and is focusing on eliminating censurable conditions.

The PSA and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority have supervisory responsibility with regard to the provision relating to the employer's duty to facilitate notification (ref. Section 3-6 of the  Working Environment Act), within their respective areas of authority, the PSA for the petroleum activities and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority for the working life in general.

We therefore wanted a statement about

  • which processes the enterprise has carried out, the evaluations made, along with the arenas, routines and organisational channels which may be used to safeguard the employees' rights to issue notifications,
  • how routines and guidelines are documented and made known to the employees and any other measures which facilitate internal notification,
  • how the enterprise handles notifications about conditions in the company which come from employees in supplier companies or from its own employees about conditions on the part of an operating company/principal,
  • how the employees and the safety delegate service have been involved in assessment and establishment of routines and measures.

Result of the audit
A summary of the feedback from the companies shows that

  • most of the companies have facilitated notification in the form of documented routines and notification channels, in addition to the ordinary lines of communication,
  • the employee representatives are aware of the routines and guidelines,
  • the routines and guidelines have to a varying degree been made known among the employees,
  • some companies have not sufficiently involved the employees' representatives in efforts to facilitate notification,
  • several enterprises also review their routines and guidelines  on a regular basis,
  • the enterprises report that they have good measures to facilitate notification, and in a few companies, this also applies to notification across company boundaries.

Link:  Audit report (summary)

The audit report (summary) applies to the following companies:
Aker Solutions ASA, Baker Hughes Norge AS, BP Norge AS, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV, Esso Norge AS, ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS, Gassco AS, Halliburton AS, A/S Norske Shell, Odfjell Drilling AS, StatoilHydro ASA.

Contact person in the PSA:
Tone Guldbrandsen