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Report: Management of major accident risk and governance

Over the last two years, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has conducted an audit of how the management in 11 different companies maintains an overview of and works to reduce the risk of major accidents. The findings from this audit activity have now been summarized in a report.


This article was originally published on March 26, report published in English on June 22.

The PSA's audit activity relating to managing major accident risk in a governance perspective targeted 11 different companies and has been under way since 2008.

The objective was to gain insight into the basis used by company management to maintain the necessary overview over major accident risk the company is exposed to, and what the company management does on this basis.

Need and obligation
A major accident is a threat to the companies' goal achievement and to the society in general. Therefore, managing major accident risk represents both a need and an obligation for the companies. This audit activity focuses on the companies' own need for risk management and self-motivated efforts to manage the risk of major accidents.

Investigations following major industrial accidents abroad have shown that the governance decisions made by company management, although unintended, can contribute to the deterioration of safety-critical barriers.

Robustness
The investigations also show that the necessary overview and understanding of the company's "state of health" may be deficient, and company management may over-estimate the company's robustness with regard to major accident risk.

These experiences were central factors in this audit activity.

The point of departure for the audit activity was that the companies evaluate practices and improvement areas with regard to e.g.:

A report has now been prepared which sums up the PSA's general evaluations following the audit of the 11 companies targeted since 2008.