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Audit of working environment management at Kårstø

Audit: During the period 3-5 June 2008, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) audited StatoilHydro's and selected contractors' management of working environment conditions at Kårstø.

Gassco is the operator and StatoilHydro the "Technical Service Provider" at Kårstø. During the audit, we conducted interviews, document reviews and verifications at the facility (pictured).

Kårstø (source: StatoilHydro)

Background for the audit
The PSA has carried out several audits specifically directed at the working environment on land facilities since the authority responsibility was transferred from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority to the PSA in 2004.

The background for these audits has been to gain insight in and overview of the challenges related to working environment and the players' ability to manage working environment conditions. Identification and follow-up of employee groups exposed to risk is one of five main focus areas for the PSA in 2008.

During this the audit directed at Kårstø, we were in particular interested in how groups of employees which are exposed to special risk are identified as part of the systematic follow-up of the working environment.

The formal basis for carrying out the audit is the following regulations:

  • Temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain petroleum facilities onshore and related pipeline systems (Temporary regulations).
  • Regulations relating to systematic health, environment and safety work in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulations) that apply to Kårstø through the temporary regulations.
  • The Working Environment Act (AML) and relevant regulations from the Directorate of Labour Inspection that apply to Kårstø through the temporary regulations.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify systems and practice for follow-up of working environment at the facility. Among other things, we wanted to see how Kårstø, through its working environment management system, identified and followed up groups in relation to the risk they were exposed to in the working environment.

We also wanted to see how the cooperation and allocation of responsibilities with contractors and subcontractors functioned in this work.

The objective was to verify to what extent StatoilHydro's management system functions in accordance with the working environment requirements in the regulations as well as internal governing documents so that employees and employee groups are identified and followed up in relation to the risk they are exposed to in the working environment.

Result of the audit
The PSA has noted that follow-up of working environment conditions has been improved at Kårstø on several counts, including the establishment of the WERA tool, hiring of an occupational health officer and preparation of a noise map for areas in the process facility.

We  identified one non-conformity in relation to regulatory requirements:

  • Mapping and risk assessment of working environment conditions.

Potential improvements were identified within the following areas:

  • Development and follow-up of working environment measures.
  • Risk assessment in relation to groups.