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Audit of Valhall helicopter deck

During the period 26-27 April 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), assisted by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), conducted an audit of BP Norge's Valhall QP installation. The audit was aimed at the helideck and emergency preparedness associated with the Valhall QP helideck. The audit revealed lack of compliance with the applicable requirements stated in BSL D 5-1 as regards obstacles in the departure and approach sector, marking, fire and rescue equipment, as well as operations and training.


Photo: BP

Valhall - QP with helideck on the right

Background for the audit

The audit is one of several planned audits that the PSA will carry out during 2004 with expert assistance from the CAA.

The focus of these efforts is on the helideck and emergency preparedness relating to the helideck.

The audit activity is carried out on the basis of the following regulations with guidelines:

Section 11 of the Management Regulations relating to manning and competence, Section 20 relating to handling of non-conformances, Section 21 relating to follow-up and Section 22 relating to improvement, as well as Section 71 of the Facilities Regulations relating to helicopter decks, cf. Regulations relating to flights on the continental shelf - commercial aviation to and from helidecks on fixed and mobile offshore facilities, BSL D 5-1 and Section 68 of the Activities Regulations relating to handling of hazard and accident situations.

Purpose of the audit

The goal of the audit was to verify that BP's management systems safeguard HSE and emergency preparedness related to the helideck in a prudent manner, and prevent incidents and near-misses that can be related to aspects of the helideck or how it is operated.

Result of the audit

The audit identified lack of compliance with applicable requirements stated in BSL D 5-1 in connection with obstacles in the departure and approach sector, marking, fire and rescue equipment as well as operations and training.

The CAA has prepared its own audit report that was submitted to BP as an enclosure to our audit report.

The report describes non-conformances, remarks and observations concerning the following areas:

  • Obstacles in the departure and approach sector

  • Friction

  • Safety net and rope net

  • Marking of the helideck's outer perimeter

  • Marking and painting

  • Lighting

  • Communications equipment

  • Marking of the helideck's size (D-value)

  • General equipment, fire protective equipment, rescue equipment and fire fighting equipment

  • Maintenance

  • Helideck and operation

  • Helideck and objects

  • Training

  • Somewhat deficient follow-up/registration of performance requirements after completed drills.

It was found that a fireguard had not completed a refresher course for the fire-fighting team.

We noted deficiencies and wear and tear on signs marking evacuation routes and emergency/rescue equipment.

Activities were implemented to correct some of these deficiencies, while the audit group was still on board.

An emergency drill was conducted during the audit with the scenario "Helicopter accident - fire on the helideck".

The drill was conducted in a satisfactory manner and with a good review after the drill, however, we note a potential for improvement in connection with registration of information on the notice board during the drill.

Good facilitation on the part of BP's observer and the personnel on board contributed to a good practical implementation of the audit.

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss