Safety project aims to reverse 'negative trend' off Norway

Norway's offshore oil and gas industry and a number of its trade unions launched an extensive project to reverse what is seen as a "negative trend" in safety on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The "Working Together for Safety" scheme aims to reduce the risk of personnel injuries and major accidents, improve employees' and their families' confidence in the industry, strengthen cooperation among industry companies, and enhance the industry's perception by the public. "Project manager Gunnar Heiberg-Andersen said the program would make an "significant contribution" to improving the current state of safety practices offshore Norway. "We have registered a negative trend over time that needs to be reversed," he said. Heiberg-Andersen said, "The project will work with people's actions on installations and on board vessels on the shelf, and focus on all factors that affect the nature of the work and its framework conditions.' The project will make interim recommendations to industry via communications meetings and seminars with a view to documenting and exchanging information on best practice in the industry. Among the project's participants are operators and supplier companies represented by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, the Norwegian Oil and Petrochemical Workers Union, and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is participating as an observer.