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Notification of order following audit of Statoil and ESS Offshore - working environment and cleaning in catering on Statfjord C

During the period June - August 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Norwegian Board of Health (Htil) audited Statoil and ESS Offshore's (ESS) catering service for Statoil, with verification on Statfjord C (SFC) on 28 and 29 August 2006. The audit was directed against ESS' management of the working environment and cleaning. Based on our findings, we have issued a notification of order to Statoil and ESS.


The audit activity was especially directed at the facilitation of work and return-to-work strategies*, participation in change processes, training and cleaning routines, hygiene and contagion protection. The audit was also directed at the interface between Statoil and ESS Offshore, and Statoil's supervisor responsibility. The audit was carried out through meetings and interviews both in Stavanger and on SFC, as well as inspection in the work areas of the catering personnel.

*Return-to-work strategies comprise measures implemented by the company to get employees back to work in the event of sick leave.

Background for the audit

The high incidence of sick leave in offshore catering worries both employees and employers. A multiparty project, "Lifting catering" was started in 2001 to contribute to an improvement of the working environment for the catering employees. The project was completed with a report in 2003. The project focused on employee participation, establishment of working environment requirements, analyses of aspects of the working environment and training. The report used the challenges related to the working environment of the catering employees as a basis and described systematically measures to achieve a positive working environment and the training necessary to achieve this.

The catering employees in the Statoil system have been through a reorganisation of the cleaning concept and demanning. It has been stated in approaches to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway that the catering employees do not feel that their working environment is properly looked after.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to evaluate the management of the working environment and cleaning against requirements in the regulations and verify the working environment conditions for catering employees at SFC.

In addition, the PSA and Htil wanted to use the audit to follow up the intentions from the project "Lifting catering" and to direct attention to a possible connection between a difficult working environment and working conditions on one side, and health injuries and sick leave on the other.

The purpose of the audit was furthermore to examine challenges related to the interface between Statoil as the operator and ESS as contractor, and Statoil's supervisor responsibility.

Result of the audit

The audit uncovered that Statoil has a deficient follow-up of ESS Offshore's compliance with requirements to health and working environment. The responsibility for working environment mapping had not been clarified between the operator and contractor, and in the instances where mapping had been carried out, Statoil had not followed this up and ensured that measures were implemented. Better professional follow-up on Statoil's part could have contributed to several of the matters uncovered in the audit being identified earlier.

The audit also uncovered deficient management to ensure an appropriate working environment for the catering employees and to safeguard a properly hygienic and aesthetically satisfactory indoor environment. Even if both the operator and the contractor had the managing documents in place, the compliance was deficient in many areas.

We identified the following non-conformities during the audit:

  • Deficient management of working environment.

  • Deficient management of cleaning and hygiene.

  • Deficient maintenance of an appropriate standard of hygiene.

  • Insufficient evaluation of work load.

  • Insufficient mapping of the physical working environment.

  • Deficient training.

  • Deficient follow-up on the part of the operator.

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In addition, we identified potential for improvement in

  • adaptation of physical conditions,

  • registration of work-related illness,

  • employee participation in change processes,

  • the work situation and training of the safety delegate,

  • return-to-work strategies.

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The two audit activities uncovered that the project Lifting catering has had little effect for the catering employees in the two companies.

In the autumn of 2005, the PSA carried out an audit of management of working environment in Statoil, and the company was then ordered to implement a process to identify and address any working environment non-conformities and exceptions in UPN (link). Several of the matters uncovered in the audit in 2005 were also identified during this audit.

Based on our findings, we have issued the following notification of order to the companies:

Pursuant to Section 13 of the Framework Regulations relating to the duty to establish, follow up and further develop management systems and Section 58 relating to administrative decisions, Statoil is ordered to review its system for managing the working environment for contractor employees in catering and cleaning (cf. Items 5.1.2, 5.1.3, 5.1.5 and 5.1.7 of the report) to ensure that working environment issues and cleaning is followed up according to regulations.

This entails clarifying the distribution of responsibilities between Statoil and the contractor ESS Offshore as regards the management of working environment and cleaning, cf. Section 3 of the Management Regulations relating to the management of health, environment and safety. Furthermore, the order entails that Statoil will

  • make an assessment of the standard of hygiene on SFC and prepare a plan for the implementation of measures,

  • map physical working conditions in the catering staff's work area on SFC and prepare a plan for the implementation of measures,

  • clarify what activities are part of Statoil's supervisor responsibility as regards the contractor ESS Offshore and implement measures which ensure compliance with health and working environment requirements.

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The deadline to present a schedule for complying with this order is set to 15 January 2007.

Pursuant to Section 13 of the Framework Regulations relating to the duty to establish, follow up and further develop management systems and Section 58 relating to administrative decisions, ESS Offshore is ordered to review its system for managing the working environment for own employees (cf. Items 5.1.1 - 5.1.6 of the report. This includes to

  • evaluate the work load for the catering employees on SFC,

  • clarify how the requirements in INSTA 800, TR 2091 and WR 1398 are to be understood and applied, as well as ensure that employees are trained in the principles and understanding of the requirements,

  • review its training system and account for planning and implementation of training in working environment, hygiene and contagion protection.

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The deadline for presenting a schedule for complying with the order is set to 15 January 2007.

We have informed the companies that any comments to the notification, from Statoil and/or ESS Offshore, must be in our hands by 15 December 2006.

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

Press contact in the PSA:
Ole-Johan Faret
E-mail:
ole-johan.faret@ptil.no
Telephone: 970 54 064