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Audit of lifting equipment and lifting operations on Stena Dee

In October 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit activity aimed at Stena Offshore's (Stena's) management of technical and operational factors associated with the planning and execution of lifting operations.

The audit was conducted in relation to the shelf regulations, recognized standards and Stena's own requirements.

Formal reference was not made to NORSOK R-003, Rev. 2, July 2004, "Safe use of lifting equipment" in the PSA's regulations at the time the audit was conducted.

However, Stena took a positive view of obtaining a measurement against this standard, which became a recognized norm from 1 January 2005.

Therefore, this norm has been used as a reference requirement in the report.

Background for the audit

The audit was a verification activity regarding Stena's application for an (AoC) for the Stena Dee facility.

Stena Dee (source: Stena Drilling)The audit was also a follow-up activity in accordance with a general project task and Storting White Paper No. 7 (2001-2002) relating to health, environment and safety in the petroleum activities ("As part of the work to improve safety in connection with crane and lifting operations on the shelf, the Ministry ... has asked the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to assign priority to audits in these areas.").

The audit focused on the problem areas that emerged in the NPD's report "Causal relationships in incidents involving lifting operations".

Purpose of the audit

The objective of the audit was to verify

  • that safety is ensured through management of technical and operational factors associated with planning and execution of lifting operations.

  • that technical conditions are safeguarded through inspection and maintenance of lifting appliances and lifting gear.

  • that follow-up of undesirable incidents associated with lifting operations fulfils relevant requirements.

The activity was to verify the basis for the assigned AoC within the field of lifting equipment and lifting operations.

Result of the audit

We made observations of a technical, operational and administrative/organizational nature.

The facility came from operations on the British shelf, with mainly British crews working a rotation of two weeks on and two weeks off.

The facility was to be staffed with a new, primarily Norwegian crew, to go on a rotation of two weeks on and four weeks off. New shifts were to be formed from a mixture of new and experienced crews. This entails several challenges which have an impact on safety.

The following factors can be mentioned in particular:

  • The radio communication equipment used in connection with lifting operations was inadequate.

  • The safety delegate service was not operational.

  • Training of personnel involved in lifting operations does not fully satisfy Norwegian requirements. This applies e.g. to operators of traveling cranes, deck technicians and personnel who work with rigging for and operation of temporary lifting appliances.

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss