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Audit of working environment management in Statoil

During the period September - December 2005, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of how the working environment is managed on Statoil's offshore facilities. In this context, Statoil's general management of the working environment was assessed from an overall UPN (exploration and production Norway) level, down to the individual facility level. The audit also covered contractor employees in the field of drilling, particularly Smedvig, which has the contract for drilling on board Gullfaks C (GFC).

The audit emphasized:

  • Statoil's system for following up the working environment offshore.
  • Implementation and follow-up of working environment surveys.
  • Follow-up of occupational illness and reduced ability to work.
  • Employee participation
  • Follow-up of contractor employees.

Background for the audit

Following up the working environment is an important part of preventive HSE work, and is therefore also a key element in the PSA's priorities.

This is the first audit ever to target Statoil's overall management of the working environment. Similar audits of working environment management have been aimed at other operators.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to obtain an overview of Statoil's management system to follow up the working environment on the shelf. Another goal has been to obtain an overview of working environment challenges and the status of the working environment on Statoil's facilities, as a basis for future monitoring.

Furthermore, the audit aimed at verifying compliance with the requirements for following up the working environment in all phases/parts of the management loop.

Result of the audit

The audit revealed several weaknesses in Statoil's management of the working environment in relation to regulatory requirements. Five nonconformities were noted, as well as four areas where there is potential for improvement.

The PSA is of the opinion that important causes of deficient management of the working environment in Statoil lie in a lack of understanding in the organization that the working environment has the same formal status as other HSE requirements in the regulations and that it, like these other requirements, must also be followed up systematically.

The audit uncovered nonconformities in relation to the following aspects:

  • Inadequate handling of nonconformities.

  • Inadequate governing documents (several nonconformities).

  • Inadequate follow-up of working environment factors.

  • Inadequate involvement of working environment expertise in connection with working environment follow-up.

  • Inadequate transfer of experience and assessment of need to implement preventive measures.


In addition, potential for improvement was noted in the following areas:

  • Follow-up of working environment factors and individual health monitoring for contractors.

  • Follow-up of occupational illness.

  • Extended stay on board on GFC/UPN.

  • Follow-up of established HSE goals in Målstyring i Statoil (MIS) (Goal Management in Statoil).

  • Unclear what differentiates HSE nonconformities from other nonconformities.


Based on the findings made during our audit, we have issued the following notification of order to Statoil:

Pursuant to Section 58 of Framework Regulations relating to administrative decisions, Statoil is ordered to:

1. revise governing documents relating to identification, evaluation and handling of nonconformities and exceptions so that they express the level in conformance with regulatory requirements, cf. Section 13 of the Framework Regulations relating to the duty to establish, follow up and further develop the management system, ref. Section 20 of the Management Regulations relating to handling nonconformities (Section 5.1.2 of the report)

2. implement a process to identify and deal with any working environment nonconformities and exceptions in UPN, ref. Section 20 of the Management Regulations relating to handling of nonconformities (Section 5.1.1 of the report).

3. implement internal requirements for working environment in the governing documents that supplement regulatory requirements, cf. Section 5 of the Management Regulations relating to internal requirements, ref. Section 18 of the Framework Regulations relating to documentation (Section 5.1.2 of the report).

The deadline for preparing plans for complying with the order is set at three weeks after the order is issued. The plans, including descriptions of measures and deadlines for implementation, shall be submitted to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

We have asked Statoil to submit any comments it might have concerning the notification by 20 March 2006.

Link: Explanation of the terms "order" and "notification of order"

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Ole-Johan Faret
Press Contact
Telephone: +47 40 22 42 17