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Minutes from Safety Forum meeting No 4/2008

The PSA's work to clarify strengths and weaknesses in offshore emergency preparedness, status of parts of the lifeboat project and mooring issues were key topics during the most recent SF meeting. Relevant topics for SF's 2009 annual conference and experiences from the HSE lunch during this year's ONS were also discussed. The status for L-8's major accident seminar in December was presented. SF visited GFC on 11 September, and this was summarized as very useful and relevant for further work in this area.

By Angela Ebbesen

Safety forum on visit offshore
Safety Forum's (SF) first meeting this autumn was held in Bergen as an extension of a visit to Gullfaks C on 11 September 2008. Meetings with the platform management and key representatives of the safety delegate service and the employee representatives and tours of the facility proved to be very useful and informative for the members.

Comprehensive emergency preparedness
The PSA's management has decided that the PSA shall prepare an overall evaluation of existing offshore emergency preparedness by looking at the totality of emergency preparedness factors. The purpose of the work has been to clarify strengths and weaknesses in offshore emergency preparedness in an MTO perspective and measure the effect of implemented improvements over the last ten years. The work is conducted by the PSA with the assistance of an external consultant, and SF has been directly involved through a one-day seminar and the meetings. The status of implementation of analyses and the preliminary results were discussed in the meeting on 12 September. The final report will be available in early December. 

The Norwegian Shipowners' Association's contributions to the lifeboat project, mainly related to davit-launched lifeboats and launching arrangements, were reviewed and discussed. The preliminary status of the sub-projects evacuation philosophy, optimising maintenance, training/competence and design was presented. Several external competence sectors are involved here, and there is a lot of work in progress. General information about the work is distributed to all shipping companies with davit-launched lifeboats and will be made available on all facilities with such lifeboats. The verifications will be concluded this month and the project will be concluded on 1 January 2009.

Mooring - need for revitalisation
GOE's (Group for Offshore Contractors) mooring forum, which is working to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the number of serious mooring incidents on the Norwegian Shelf by 2009, had only just started again after the vacation. The work on the four main challenges for safe mooring/positioning, training, maintenance, documentation/review and correct installing of anchors has varied. The Shipowners' Association's role as a liaison between the Mooring Forum and SF has, however, been recognised, and the Shipowners' Association has taken the initiative to revitalise this important work.

Strategy development through transfer of experience and learning
Both SF's annual conference and the HSE lunch during ONS are arenas which have the ability gather many people for debates and learning in connection with HSE challenges. Potential topics for the next annual conference were eagerly discussed.

Consequences of the StatoilHydro merger for both contractors and innovation in the industry, as well as topics such as risk management and major accident perspective were emphasised as important topics. However, SF's members are also concerned with what our industry can learn from other industries and realities, and also how to realise the ambition of world-class HSE. In this connection, several members expressed uncertainty about the consequences of a new Storting HSE white paper, where oil and gas will become part of a larger working life report and not be considered in a separate HSE report.

The industry forum for the land facilities, L-8, http://www.norskindustri.no/article482.html plans a major accident seminar related to the land facilities. This will be held in cooperation with the PSA and will be directed at risk and understanding of consequences, and will facilitate exchange of experience and learning.  The event will take place on 2 and 3 December in Bergen.

Recurring topics in the safety work
In its account of recent serious incidents, SF's chair and the PSA director general reviewed two serious incidents related to lifting operations with substantial material damage, showing that falling objects continue to pose a serious challenge.

The status for a number of ongoing issues was presented and  new knowledge was shared. For more details, see the minutes. 

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Angela Ebbesen, technical secretary in Safety Forum
Email: angela.ebbesen@ptil.no