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Mutual acceptance of safety training in the North Sea Basin

On 1 November, a new agreement regarding safety and emergency preparedness training will enter into force around the North Sea Basin. The agreement will make it easier for employees in the petroleum sector to work across national shelf boundaries, while at the same time ensuring compliance with the safety training requirements in the respective countries.

The safety authorities around the North Sea Basin have been working for quite some time to find practical solutions for mutual acceptance of equivalent safety and emergency preparedness training. This work has resulted in a joint strategy on the part of the authorities (see link), as well as an agreement between the oil companies' organizations.

To achieve this agreement, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) has worked with its colleagues in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark to compare the safety training requirements in the respective countries. The analysis concludes that there are far fewer differences than before, due to the developments that have taken place in the various countries.

Only a few deviations have been flagged as being safety-critical, i.e. deviations from training objectives. Some examples of differences in requirements between Norway and the UK include the following: the UK does not require first aid training, uses a different type of survival suit and most of its training centers do not have escape chutes. Based on this analysis, the oil and gas industry has defined the necessary additional training when an employee moves from one shelf to another.

The result ensures efficiency, while not compromising on what Norway believes are necessary standards for courses and training.

The safety authorities will continue their work, in part to develop a comparable agreement that can be used for personnel who work on mobile facilities and who have safety and emergency preparedness training that follows IADC standards.

Contact in the PSA:
Ole-Johan Faret, press contact
Telephone: +47 51 87 67 59
E-mail: ole-johan.faret@ptil.no