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Shell - audit of lifting equipment and lifting operations

In January 2004 the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of Shell's management of technical and operational aspects of their planning and implementation of lifting operations.

The audit was a verification activity on Draugen in accordance with an overall project assignment for lifting equipment and lifting operations, where the purpose of the assignment was to verify compliance with the regulatory requirements for this area.

Draugen (Photo: Shell)

The background for the audit

The audit was a follow-up activity in accordance with the overall project assignment, and in accordance with Storting (Norwegian Parliament) White Paper No. 7 (2001-2002) on health, safety and the environment in the petroleum activities.

(Recommendation from the Ministry of Labour and Government Administration of 14 December 2001, approved by the King in Council on the same day: "As part of the work to improve safety in crane and lifting operations on the Shelf, the Ministry has also asked the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to give audits of these areas a high priority ...").

The audit focused on problem areas that emerged in the NPD's report "Causal relations in incidents related to lifting operations".

The purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that safety is ensured through the management of technical and operational aspects in planning and implementing lifting operations.

It was also to verify that the technical condition is safeguarded through control and maintenance of lifting appliances and lifting gear, and to make sure that follow-up of undesirable incidents in lifting operations fulfils the relevant requirements.

The result of the audit

The PSA made observations of a technical, operational and an administrative/organizational nature. We mention in particular:

  • Shell must put more emphasis on lifting not being done above areas with personnel.
  • The training system on board leaves room for improvement. This is particularly important for new personnel, but it is also important for experienced personnel to have a system for repetition and maintenance of their knowledge.
  • Overcrowded supply vessels was a constantly recurring problem. This represents a higher risk for the seamen on the boat deck during lifting operations, but also a higher risk on board Draugen because the return cargo cannot be taken away as needed.

The PSA's follow-up

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss