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Notification of order to Norske Shell

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) audited Norske Shell A/S' (Shell) management of the working environment on Draugen during the period of 1-21 March 2006. Based on our findings, we have issued a notification of order to Shell.


The audit was performed in the form of interviews at Råket in Kristiansund, at Risavika outside of Stavanger and verification offshore. The audit also includes Aker Kværner, the main contractor for the modification work on Draugen (photo), in order to assess Shell's follow-up of the contractors' working environment.

The audit emphasised:

  • Shell's system for follow-up of the offshore working environment.

  • Implementation and follow-up of working environment surveys.

  • Implementation and follow-up of change processes.

  • Follow-up of work-related illness and reduced working ability.

  • Follow-up of work loads.

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Background for the audit

Follow-up of working environment is an important part of the preventative HSE effort, and therefore also a central priority issue for the PSA. Other operators have been subject to similar audits of working environment management.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) carried out an audit of personnel safety and working environment in connection with maintenance work on Draugen in 1999, which uncovered some weaknesses in the follow-up of the working environment.

Purpose of the audit

Draugen (source: Shell)The purpose of the audit was to get an overview of Shell's management system for systematic follow-up of the working environment on the Shelf.

Furthermore, the purpose of the audit was to verify Shell's compliance with requirements for systematic follow-up of the working environment in all phases/parts of the management loop. The audit therefore focused on management elements rather than details in the different disciplines.

The audit also aimed at getting an overview of working environment challenges and the status of the working environment conditions on Draugen as a basis for further follow-up.

Result of the audit

During the audit we noted several deficiensies in Shell's management systems and the follow-up of working environment conditions in relation to the requirements set down in the regulations.

The company does not have adequate pverview of the risk factors in the working environment. A total of 10 nonconformities and five areas with potential for improvement were noted.

We noted that several of the same conditions were identified as nonconformities in the NPD's audit of personnel safety and working environment in connection with maintenance work on Draugen in 1999. As a result of the 1999 audit, Shell established plans to correct the identified conditions. It is our evaluation that the measures have not been implemented to a sufficient degree.

During the audit, nonconformities in connection with the following matters were noted:

  • Management documents relating to follow-up of the working environment.

  • Systems and methods for the implementation of working environment evaluations, identification of nonconformities and verification of implemented measures.

  • Mapping in relation to requirements and implementation of ergonomics measures.

  • Improvement efforts in connection with working environment conditions.

  • Prioritisation of working environment measures.

  • Resources in working environment follow-up.

  • Systematic safe-guarding of the working environment during modifications.

  • Employee participation.

  • Follow-up of contractors' working environment.

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Five areas of potential improvement were also identified, in connection with:

  • Roles and responsibility in relation to mapping of working environment.

  • Use of data concerning work-related illness.

  • Implementation of change processes.

  • Procedures.

  • Risk assessment of working conditions.

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Based on our findings during the audit, the PSA has issued the following notification of order to Shell:

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, Shell is ordered to review its working environment management system for its own (see items 5.1.1-5.1.9 of the report) and contractors' employees (see item 5.1.10 of the report) to ensure that the working environment issues are followed up according to regulations.
The deadline for presenting plan with a time schedule to comply withl the order is set to 15 August 2006.

We experienced a positive and open dialogue during the entire audit and would like to draw attention to the following positive conditions on Draugen:

  • High standards and order.

  • High degree of contentment among Shell's and contractors' employees.

  • Follow-up of individuals during sick leave seems well taken care of.

  • Good flexibility when carrying out work:
    - Possible to hire extra personnel when needed.
    - Time set aside to get familiar with relevant procedures.
    - Time set aside to carry out work safely.

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