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Lessons learned from the Kielland accident featured at the PSA’s structural seminar

In keeping with tradition, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) organised a seminar addressing structural issues during this year’s ONS. The main presentation, held by Professor Torgeir Moan, was a review of lessons learned from the Alexander L. Kielland accident, thirty years later.


Torgeir Moan, a professor at NTNU (the Norwegian University of Science and Technology) whose accomplishments include winning the PSA’s HSE award in 2006 (link), emphasised that we have a different perspective on investigations today compared with 30 years ago. Among other things, there is much more focus on organisational factors in connection with accidents today.

Moan pointed out that accidents like the Alexander L. Kielland tragedy can be avoided by incorporating lessons learned and established safety principles, and made particular mention of barriers in the engineering phase, during inspections and in connection with repairs.

He also noted that the lesson we all must remember is that human factors play a crucial role in connection with accidents, and that a good safety culture and management are necessary. In this context, he also referred to knowledge, skills and attitudes on the part of individuals and in organsations, along with quality control, robust design and research and development as important elements. See the link to Moan’s presentation in the right-hand column.

Sharing experience
The intention of the structural seminar on 25 August was to increase general knowledge about the structures, and to share experience in the industry. The program therefore included both presentations relating to experience as well as research on new and existing structures.

In addition to reflections on the lessons learned from the Kielland accident, other contributions included research on wind turbines, fatigue, wave loads and reliability methods.

Experience was also exchanged regarding a serious boat collision on Ekofisk in 2009 and the PSA’s assessment of challenges facing the industry as regards structural integrity in operations.

See presentations from the seminar in the right-hand column. 

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