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Notification of order following audit of Naturkraft AS at Kårstø

During the period 5-7 February 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of how language and communication challenges are handled in scaffolding, crane and lifting work, as well as wages and working conditions for foreign employees during construction activity at the gas power plant at Kårstø. Based on our findings during the audit related to the working environment area, we have issued a notification of order to Naturkraft AS.


We conducted interviews with subcontractors, including both the employer and employee sides. A Croatian-Norwegian interpreter assisted us during the audit.

About Naturkraft AS' role at Kårstø

Naturkraft AS is the operator of the planned gas power plant situated inside the Kårstø facility, but it is a separate enterprise. A consortium consisting of Siemens in Germany and Siemens in Norway has been awarded the contract to build the power plant. Contracts will also be awarded for infrastructure inside the gas terminal. These assignments have been delegated to Gassco/Statoil, who will manage the process.

Background for the audit

Preventing social dumping is one of the PSA's main commitment areas. This entails, among other things, that we follow up to ensure compliance with the Act relating to general application of wage agreements, etc. at the land facilities.

Preventing social dumping also entails following up to ensure that the working conditions - including health and working environment conditions - for foreign employees conform with other HSE legislation. The PSA has identified risk-related challenges linked to communication across both language and cultural barriers.

In this audit we have paid particular attention to how language and cultural differences are handled in the areas of scaffolding work and crane and lifting operations. This is because communication plays such a key role in these work operations, and is a critical factor in ensuring that activities are carried out in a prudent manner.

The formal basis for the audit is found in requirements laid down in the following statutes and regulations:

  • Regulations of 26 June 2006, No. 703, relating to the general application of wage agreements for certain petroleum facilities on land.

  • Regulations of 21 November 2006, No. 1291, relating to general application of wage agreements for construction sites in Norway.

  • The Working Environment Act (AML).

  • Provisional regulations of 19 December 2003, No. 1595, relating to safety and working environment for certain petroleum facilities on land and associated pipeline systems (the Provisional Regulations), including
    - Regulations relating to safety, health and working environment at construction sites (the Building Owner Regulations),
    - Regulations relating to systematic health, environment and safety work in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulations),
    - Regulations of 26 June 1998, No. 608, relating to use of work equipment,
    - Regulations of 19 August 1994, No. 820, relating to machinery.

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Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify

  • compliance with HSE regulations and procedures within the area of scaffolding/cranes/lifting,
  • handling of language and communication challenges in scaffolding work and in connection with crane and lifting operations,
  • wages and working conditions for foreign employees, including:
    - Wages and working hours
    - Other health and working environment factors
    - HSE information to foreign employees

Result of the audit

We did not find breaches of the General Application Act during the audit, and Siemens' follow-up of wages and working hours for its subcontractors was systematic and traceable. Nor did we identify any regulatory nonconformities for the scaffolding work that was underway at the facility.

We did, on the other hand, note deficiencies in Naturkraft's and Siemens' management systems and practices for following up working environment conditions and for managing crane and lifting operations. The companies have inadequate overview and control over risk factors in the working environment and procedures/regulations for crane and lifting operations have not guided the activity.

We noted the following nonconformities:

  • Deficient follow-up of the working environment at the facility.

  • Inadequate training of safety delegates.

  • Deficient management of crane and lifting operations.

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We identified the following factors where there is potential for improvement:

  • Deficient organization/facilitation to reduce HSE risk linked to differences in language and culture.

  • There is insufficient knowledge about the safety delegate system at the facility.

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

Pursuant to Sections 3-1 (2c), 4-4 and 3-2 (1c) of the Working Environment Act; and Sections 10 and 11 of the Provisional Regulations, cf. Section 5, Item 6 of the Internal Control Regulations, cf. Chapter 5.1.1 of the report, Naturkraft AS is ordered to review its system for managing the working environment for its own and contractor employees, and to present a plan for implementing measures. Moreover, a working environment survey and risk assessment of the activities at the facility shall be implemented to ensure that the working environment is proper and prudent. If necessary, the survey and the assessment shall be followed up through measures.

Furthermore, pursuant to Sections 10 and 11 of the Provisional Regulations (cf. Section 5, No. 1 of the Internal Control Regulations), Section 36, second subsection, Section 8, Section 32 (cf. Chapter IX-II Appendix - Part C Item IV Technical facilities) and the Regulations of 26 June 1998, No. 608, relating to the use of work equipment:
Section 8, Section 9, Section 45 Item 3, Section 47, Section 48 and Section 56, cf. Chapter 5.1.3 of the report; Naturkraft is ordered to review its system for managing crane and lifting operations and to present a plan for implementation of measures.
The deadline for preparing plans to comply with the order is set at three weeks after the order is issued. The plans, including a description of measures and implementation deadlines, shall be sent to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway. The survey and risk assessment of working environment conditions shall be implemented as soon as possible and no later than three weeks after the order is issued.
The PSA must be notified when the order has been fulfilled.

We have asked Naturkraft AS to submit any comments it may have concerning the notification within two weeks after receipt of the notification.

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

Contact in the PSA:
Inger Anda, press spokesperson
E-mail:
inger.anda@ptil.no
Tel.: +47 970 54 064