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Vidar Bernt Sørensen wins PSA Award for 2010

The PSA Award for 2010 has been given to Vidar Bernt Sørensen, head of the HSE24 training programme at the Kårstø processing facility north of Stavanger.


Vidar Bernt Sørensen receives the PSA Award from Magne Ognedal

Vidar Bernt Sørensen (left) receives the PSA Award from the PSA director-general, Magne Ognedal

HSE24 has been a success very much as the result of one person’s initiative and commitment over a long time, said Magne Ognedal, director-general of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA).

He was speaking before presenting the award to Mr Sørensen during the Safety Lunch held on 26 August during the ONS exhibition and conference in Stavanger.

HSE24 is a three-day course taken by everyone working at Kårstø for more than 14 days. Its name refers to the need for all employees at every level to be continuously vigilant and present to safeguard and develop the level of safety at the plant.

A long-term approach to improvement work is also an important aspect of the programme, which was adopted in 2006 at Mr Sørensen’s initiative.

Since then, more than 5 000 people have completed the course. Eighty per cent of these have been employed by contractors working for Gassco as operator or Statoil as technical service provider.

The PSA has concluded that HSE24 has had a clearly positive effect on reducing the risk of accidents and in helping to build a safety culture, Mr Ognedal said during the presentation.

As a result, the authority had been able to note increased awareness of and commitment to improving the level of safety at the plant during recent years.

He also pointed out that HSE24 was not confined to working environment factors and personal injuries, but also focused on factors which affect the risk of major accidents.

Other companies were urged by Mr Ognedal to consider introducing similar training programmes in their own operations.
“I would like to give credit to operator Gassco and service provider Statoil for having initiated, supported and funded this programme,” he said. Its success is also the result of active support in the organisation and from management.

Mr Ognedal then asked Mr Sørensen to come up onto the podium to receive the award, which is a sculpture by Norwegian artist Nico Widerberg.

The prizewinner
Mr Sørensen has held a number of management positions at Kårstø since he joined its staff in 1992, including quality manager, head of maintenance, area manager and HSE manager. He has headed the HSE24 programme since its launch in 2006.

The PSA Award
This biennial award is given to a person or organisation making a strong and visible contribution to safety work in the Norwegian petroleum industry.

The prize is presented during the Safety Lunch held at ONS. It went in 2006 to Professor Torgeir Moan and to the gas leak reduction project run by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) in 2008.