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The PSA demands better routines for notification in connection with hazard and accident situations

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) must be notified immediately in the event of hazard and accident situations that have occurred - or which could have occurred if circumstances were slightly altered. Our experience is that this is not followed up in a satisfactory manner. In an identical letter sent to the operators, each individual company is asked to evaluate their procedures and control systems. We also ask that the operators respond with an overview of any relevant corrective measures.

Notification and report of hazard and accident situations in the petroleum activities are governed by Section 11 of the Information Duty Regulations.

This states in part that the operator shall ensure "co-ordinated and immediate telephonic alert to the Petroleum Safety Authority of situations of hazard or accident which have led to or which, under insignificantly altered circumstances, might have led to severe and acute injury, acute, life-threatening illness, severe impairment or loss of safety functions or other barriers that endanger the integrity of the facility, or in the event of acute pollution." This notification must be confirmed in writing.

Although the regulations are quite clear on this point, the PSA's experience is that some operators have not provided notification or reported situations that are mentioned in the regulations or in the guidelines to the regulations.

The operators largely report the hazard and accident situations that have actually occurred. However, we question whether all of the operators are sufficiently good at reporting hazard and accident situations that could have occurred under slightly altered circumstances, and that could have led to serious and acute injury.

In many cases, the PSA is notified of hazard and accident situations far too late. It may take hours, or even days, from when the situation occurred until we receive notification.

The PSA takes a serious view of this deficient reporting, as it can prevent us from achieving efficient handling of hazard and accident situations. In some cases, a lack of notification or report could mean that the authorities cannot carry out their duties in the form of supervision or investigation of incidents.

Inadequate notification also makes it difficult to ensure equal treatment of the operating companies. It is also unfortunate that individual incidents are reported in the media before the authorities are notified of the case.

In light of this, the PSA asks each individual company to evaluate its procedures and control systems in relation to notification and reporting of hazard and accident situations. The PSA also requests that the companies submit a brief summary of their own evaluation of the situation with an overview of any corrective measures.

Detailed criteria for notification and reporting of hazard and accident situations would be beneficial for the entire industry. Therefore, the PSA encourages the industry to resume work on identifying a "best practice" in this area, e.g. under the direction of the Working Together for Safety (SfS) project.

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway
Inger Anda, tel. +47 970 54 064