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Audit of working environment management at Slagentangen

During the period 26-28 September 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of how Esso Norge AS (Esso) and selected contractors manage the working environment at Slagentangen. We have seen that the players at Slagentangen assign priority to following up the working environment, but we have identified one nonconformity in relation to the regulations.

During the audit, we conducted interviews, document reviews and verifications at the facility.

Slagentangen (source: Esso)

Slagentangen (source: Esso)

Background for the audit
The PSA has conducted a number of audit activities specifically aimed at the working environment at land facilities since the regulatory responsibility was transferred from the Directorate of Labour Inspection to the PSA in 2004.

The background for these audits has been to gain insight into and an overview of working environment challenges and the players' ability to manage working environment factors. Identification and follow-up of employee groups at particular risk is one of the PSA's four main commitment areas in 2007.

In this audit targeting Slagentangen, we were particularly interested in how companies identify groups of employees exposed to special risk as part of the systematic follow-up of the working environment.

The formal basis for implementing the audit activity is found in the following regulations:

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

  • Regulations relating to systematic health, safety and environment work in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulations) which applies to Slagentangen through the provisional regulations.

  • The Working Environment Act and relevant regulations issued by the Directorate of Labour Inspection which apply to Slagentangen through the provisional regulations.


Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify systems and practices for following up the working environment at the facility. Among other things, we wanted to see how Esso uses its system for managing the working environment to identify and follow up groups in relation to the risk they were exposed to in the working environment.

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

The objective was also to verify whether Esso's management system is in compliance with the regulations' working environment requirements, as well as internal controlling documents, so that employees and groups of employees are identified and followed up in relation to the risk they are exposed to in the working environment.

Result of the audit
In this audit, we have seen that the players at Slagentangen assign priority to following up the working environment. Many improvement measures had been implemented, such as noise reduction measures, and there was focus on chemical health risk in connection with work in the operations area.

Furthermore, resources were earmarked for improvements through a separate HSE project which has led to concrete improvement measures, including in the area of ergonomics.

The cooperation between the operator and contractors appears to function well. The contractors stated that they had good knowledge of Esso's safety instructions, and that there was good dialogue and cooperation between Esso and the contractors.

~LT~FONT size=2>The PSA has identified one nonconformity in relation to the regulations:

  • Deficient handling of working environment nonconformities.


Potential for improvement was found in the following areas:

  • Prioritization of working environment measures based on a risk assessment.

  • Assessments of total exposure as regards working environment factors and hazards for groups of employees.

  • Working environment conditions in the laboratory and Norweld's temporary quarters.

  • Practices associated with cordoning off areas of the facility.

  • Marking of hot surfaces and chemical tanks.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss