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

From 27-29 March 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil's management of working environment at the Kollsnes facility.


During this audit, particular emphasis was placed on working hours schemes and employment terms for foreign workers. The audit included meetings, interviews, verifications and document reviews.

Kollsnes (source: Gassco)

Gassco is the operator and Statoil is the "Technical Service Provider" at Kollsnes (see photo). The audit targeted Statoil and selected subcontractors.

Background for the audit

Various types of working hours schemes are in use at Kollsnes, in addition to normal working hours. The various schemes have been established based on agreements between the relevant parties or the consent of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway. The PSA 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 HSE.

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

Particular attention was given to HSE aspects of the various working hours schemes used at the facility, as well as equal wages and employment terms for Norwegian and foreign workers.

Result of the audit

The audit revealed nonconformities in relation to the following factors:

  • Breach of the rest time regulations on the part of Reinertsen and IKM-Testing.

  • Lack of clarity concerning employees hired on contract from Hoogveld to Reinertsen.

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

  • No valid agreement for working hours schemes for Hoogveld.

  • Few internal inspections/audits relating to working environment.

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

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

Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss