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Minutes from Safety Forum meeting 2/2010

The PSA’s technical contribution to the work on a comprehensive management plan for the Barents Sea and Lofoten, the status of the PSA’s prioritised audit of groups at risk and tripartite cooperation and involvement in several issues. These were all important topics at the Safety Forum meeting on 25 March.

_blank Agenda (pdf)

The Safety Forum is the central arena for cooperation among the parties in the industry and the authorities as regards health, safety and environment in the petroleum activities on the Norwegian shelf and on land.

Safety Forum

In addition to a review of serious incidents during the period, a status report was provided for current business, including the lifeboat issue and the new Storting White Paper 2010.

Low risk is not a condition, but must be created and recreated in every activity
The Safety Forum was given an extensive account of the work on updating the comprehensive management plan for the Barents Sea – Lofoten and the PSA’s technical contribution within the area of safety and working environment in the petroleum activities.

View slides and details in the summary in the right-hand column.

The objective which forms the basis of the technical considerations is defined as follows: The risk of damage to the environment and the living marine resources as a result of acute pollution shall be kept at a low level, and continuous efforts shall be made to further reduce this level. This shall also govern activities which entail the danger of acute pollution.

The evaluation of the objective can be summed up as follows: In 2005, accident risk was estimated to be low in the plan area, and there is no reason to assume that accident risk has changed during the reporting period. Several processes and projects represent potential contributions to risk reduction, and there is a need for improvement processes in several areas to safeguard this goal in the future. We have emphasised that low risk is not a condition, but something which must be continuously created and recreated in every activity. This work has also contributed to strengthening the technical foundation surrounding accident risk in connection with the petroleum activities.

Groups at risk – prioritised supervisory efforts
Over several years, the PSA has prioritised its efforts to follow up groups at risk. Extensive supervision over several years has revealed, in part, large differences between contractor groups and operator groups in relation to handling, exposure to and management and assessment of risk. The same is true for knowledge of risk, available technical resources, measures and HSE competence, despite the fact that contractors are exposed to the most risk (Scaffolding, insulation and surface protection disciplines, catering and other groups at risk).

The PSA has ambitions for its contributions toward reducing the risk of injury and illness for groups especially at risk. These ambitions are directed toward the companies’ understanding and knowledge in the area, clarifying the players’ responsibilities as regards implementing risk-reducing measures and contributing to clarify the connection between preventive measures and individual adaptations, including through IA work.

See article on the PSA’s website and minutes and slides in the right-hand column.

Participation and cooperation of the highest degree
Several of the items on the agenda dealt with ambitions and realities in regards to participation and cooperation between the different parties in the industry. The directorate referenced the current NOU 2010:01 (public report) relating to participation and co-determination in the workplace, where both the PSA and the Safety Forum have contributed to the committee. The report has been submitted for consultation and everyone was encouraged to read the report and provide feedback through their own channels during the consultation process.

Another area for participation was the basis for contractor employees to be involved and heard during tender processes. Even though the parties agree in principle on the importance of player and tripartite cooperation, they disagree on how far the law should be taken at the expense of participation as the joint ambition for the HSE work. This matter will be discussed again in the June meeting.

During the Safety Forum’s meeting with the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority’s board in February of this year, a decision was made to establish a smaller working group to prepare for further cooperation between the two arenas. This group’s representatives were elected, and the start-up initiative will be taken by these two representatives, which are part of both the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority’s board and the Safety Forum.

As regards the conflict between the parties surrounding the Norwegian Oil Industry Center for Quality Assurance of Competence, PSK, this is still in deadlock, but we are awaiting the results from a multipartite working group exploring possible solutions.

From outline to insight
In the right-hand column you will find a link to the complete and detailed minutes, as well as the presentations given at the meeting.