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Minutes of Safety Forum meeting No. 2/2008

The lifeboat project, the investigation of the Statfjord oil spill and the PSA's role in connection with the investigation of serious incidents were among the issues discussed at the Safety Forum (SF) meeting in the PSA on 26 March 2008. In addition, the meeting discussed a number of key HSE issues.


By Angela Ebbesen

The shipping companies' contributions to the lifeboat project
The Norwegian Shipowners' Association's (NR) new Safety Forum member, Kjersti Høgestøl, was presented at the meeting. She also gave a thorough account of NR's contributions to the lifeboat project, which is directed at conventionally lowered lifeboats and launching arrangements. The project is divided into four parts; evacuation philosophy, optimising maintenance, training/competence and design. The project will be concluded on 31 December 2008. The start-up has taken time and closer employee participation has previously been called for, but measures have not been taken to speed up the project and achieve real employee participation.

Effort to halve the number of mooring incidents
NR also gave a status report for the work in the so-called "Mooring Forum", which aims to further safe mooring/positioning of mobile units –  and establish a professional network. The specific ambition is a 50 per cent reduction in the number of serious mooring incidents on the Norwegian shelf by 2009 (compared with 2006).

Serious incidents remain an issue
As always, serious incidents were an item on SF's agenda. All of these were under investigation and could therefore only be mentioned without drawing any firm conclusions. For instance, there was a demolition accident at Kollsnes  in February. Furthermore, there were reviews of a gas leak on Sleipner A, a falling object on Deepsea Delta, damage to the drill floor on Gullfaks C and a personal injury on Mærsk Inspirer, all in March 2008. Director of the PSA and chair of SF, Magne Ognedal, expressed concern over the many serious incidents with falling objects which still take place in the industry in spite of the effort which has been made over several years.

Investigation –  source of learning and lessons learned
The director for supervisory activities in the PSA, Anne Vatten, gave an account of the PSA's role in the investigation of serious incidents. PSA carries out the investigation, which is an important and integrated part of the audit activities, but an investigation commission may also be formed in special cases.

Furthermore, a review was made of the incident itself and the PSA's investigation of the oil spill on Statfjord OLS-A, where 4400 cubic metres of crude oil was spilled. See also the investigation report and notification of order on the PSA's website http://www.ptil.no/nyheter/alvorlige-mangler-avdekket-i-gransking-av-oljeutslipp-article4319-24.html.   Several critical questions were asked about what this incident will mean for the industry's ability to handle complex developments in vulnerable areas and the importance of the preventive work to avoid damage to the external environment. Modifications management, as well as sharing of responsibility, are key elements in this matter.

Multipartite cooperation for knowledge sharing and lessons learned
Both the OLF seminar on knowledge sharing and on experiences from serious incidents across the industry were summarised and will be continued. OLF also gave an account of the work which will be started to ensure good involvement and constructive multipartite cooperation in the time ahead. Initially, the plan calls for a seminar about multipartite cooperation on 30 September 2008 and a preparatory meeting on 17 June 2008. The objective of the seminar is to discuss issues raised in SF as regards multipartite cooperation in 2008 and 2007.

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