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Audit of HSE management, working hours and general application of conditions at Kårstø

During the period 30-31 March 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the management of working environment, working hours schemes and wages for foreign employees at the petroleum facility at Kårstø. We noted some nonconformities and weaknesses in Statoil's management systems and practice for following up working environment factors.


Kårstø (source: Statoil)

Gassco is the operator and Statoil is the "Technical Service Provider" at Kårstø (see photo). The audit was aimed at Statoil and certain subcontractors.

Background for the audit

Various types of working hours schemes have been established at Kårstø. Some of these have been agreed between the relevant parties, while others have been set up following the consent of the PSA (formerly the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority).

We wanted to examine the extent and specifics of how HSE implications resulting from working hours schemes (with long workdays for periods longer than a normal working week), are evaluated at the land facilities under the PSA's jurisdiction.

"Social dumping" is defined as one of the PSA's main commitment areas in 2006. For the PSA, preventing "social dumping" means both following up regulations relating to general application of wage agreements, as well as preventing potential undesirable consequences associated with immigrant labor in relation to safety and the working environment.

Foreign workers who do not speak Norwegian or English have a language handicap in relation to work at Kårstø. This can have an impact on working environment and safety, in part because communication can be more difficult.

It may also be assumed that workers from foreign countries have only limited knowledge of the Norwegian HSE regulations and traditions. High standards in HSE require clear, unambiguous communication and a common understanding of risk factors.

Similar audits have also been conducted in relation to other Norwegian land facilities under the PSA's jurisdiction.

The following regulations constitute the formal basis for the audit:

  • Working Environment Act.

  • Temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain petroleum facilities on land and associated pipeline systems (provisional regulations).

  • Regulations relating to systematic health, environment and safety work in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulations).

  • Regulations relating to safety, health and working environment at building and construction sites.

  • Other relevant regulations under the Working Environment Act, cf. appendix to provisional regulations, Part C.

  • Regulations relating to general application of wage agreements for certain petroleum facilities on land (the General Application Regulations)

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Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was mainly to gain insight into and an overview of the working environment challenges and the players' ability to manage the working environment conditions at Kårstø.

Particular attention was given to the various elements of the management loop for HSE factors, such as establishing requirements, implementing surveys and risk assessments, as well as following up measures and handling nonconformities.~LT~/FONT>

Focus was also directed at the HSE aspects of the various working hours schemes used at the facility, as well as equal wages and working conditions for Norwegian and foreign workers.

Result of the audit

We noted certain weaknesses in Statoil's management systems and practice for following up working environment factors. The company does not have an adequate overview and systematic follow-up of risk factors in the working environment. We also noted nonconformities on the part of certain subcontractors.

During the audit, we identified nonconformities relating to the following factors:

  • Deficient procedures and methodology for systematic mapping of the working environment.

  • Deficient identification and registration of nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements and internal requirements in the field of working environment.

  • R&M's follow-up of HSE factors is inadequate as regards workers contracted from Waco Isolering.

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The following observations were made which indicate areas where there is a need for improvement:

  • Deficient overview and knowledge of internal working environment requirements.

  • Insufficient evaluation of the long-term effects of extended working hours schemes.

  • Content of HSE introduction courses is not adapted for foreign workers.

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Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss

Focus was also directed at the HSE aspects of the various working hours schemes used at the facility, as well as equal wages and working conditions for Norwegian and foreign workers.

Result of the audit

We noted certain weaknesses in Statoil's management systems and practice for following up working environment factors. The company does not have an adequate overview and systematic follow-up of risk factors in the working environment. We also noted nonconformities on the part of certain subcontractors.

During the audit, we identified nonconformities relating to the following factors:

  • Deficient procedures and methodology for systematic mapping of the working environment.

  • Deficient identification and registration of nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements and internal requirements in the field of working environment.

  • R&M's follow-up of HSE factors is inadequate as regards workers contracted from Waco Isolering.

  •  

The following observations were made which indicate areas where there is a need for improvement:

  • Deficient overview and knowledge of internal working environment requirements.

  • Insufficient evaluation of the long-term effects of extended working hours schemes.

  • Content of HSE introduction courses is not adapted for foreign workers.

  •  

Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss