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MP management and major accident risk in 2013

Attention at the PSA related to this main priority was concentrated in 2013 on drilling contractors – how they adapt their activities to scarcities of critical resources, and their follow-up and overview of their own business.

Management plays a key role with regard to major accident risk. Its initiatives and decisions define and influence conditions which are significant in this context.

The PSA’s impression is that companies are giving greater emphasis to the way managers influence risk down through the organisation. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Otherwise, the industry is making a bigger commitment to improving planning and efficiency as a result of reduced profitability and high costs.

Expertise and capacity
The level of activity in the petroleum industry has been rising sharply in recent years, with forecasts indicating that a peak was reached in 2013.

This has prompted suggestions in various quarters that a shortage of resources and expertise could cause a decline in the standard of safety.

In its follow-up of management and the way expertise is managed, the PSA sees that the challenges in this area vary.

The companies themselves say they have the supply of expertise under control, although shortages are greater in some disciplines than others. Subsea expertise is one example.

Results from the RNNP process on trends in risk level which relate to employee self-assessment of their own expertise show a positive trend.

Offshore audits – mobile units
In its follow-up of mobile drilling units, the PSA finds that company managements themselves say they are aware of their entire responsibility for maintaining the conditions of their acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) in full.

The PSA’s offshore audits have helped to increase its presence and visibility on the facilities, something the unions in particular have wished to see.

Specifically, these audits help to expose areas and issues with an improvement potential on the units which the companies themselves may not have noticed to the same extent.

Feedback indicates that companies and employees view this as a useful supplement to their own offshore supervision, and that it contributes both to enhancing knowledge and increasing the attention paid to the subjects and regulations concerned.

New knowledge
The PSA learnt more in 2013 about the effects of its work with individual players, the drilling contractors and the whole industry within the MP-M area.

Some observations can be made.

  • In following up management and managing safety, a long-term approach is needed to secure positive outcomes. Addressing key subjects over time at several levels in the organisation has a good effect.
  • The PSA’s follow-up helps to create appropriate self-assessments and commitment in the company, which sharpens attention. Its visibility, both on land and offshore, has a positive effect.
  • Internally, the PSA utilises its acquired knowledge, combined with the regulatory breaches which it uncovers, to pursue issues further with the companies – both at corporate level and down the organisation.