Health, Safety and Environment Culture in the Petroleum Industry in Norway
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This thesis is based on four studies of aspects of health, safety and environment (HSE) culture in the petroleum industry in Norway. Oil and gas production is currently Norway’s largest industry, with both offshore and onshore operations. HSE issues, focusing on reducing risks to people, facilities and the environment, are important in this industry. The main objective of this study was to gain more knowledge about factors that affect the HSE in the Norwegian petroleum industry and to discuss how these factors might be part of the concept “HSE culture”. It has been of special interest to gain more knowledge of organisational and working environment factors that affect health and safety in the petroleum industry. Aims of the studies The aim of study I, was to gain more knowledge of the various ways the health, safety and environment culture concept was understood and defined among employees with and without leadership responsibility. The aims of study II, was to investigate the possible associations between working conditions and the registered health and safety results. The aim of study III, was to compare working environment among onshore and offshore employees. The aim of study IV, was to analyse whether company belonging or local working environment is the most important factor for safety climate in the offshore petroleum industry. Material and methods A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods has been chosen and the data have been gathered from several sources. In paper I we analysed interviews from 31 workers in one petroleum company using individual semi-structured interviews in order to explore work-related issues which could explain aspects of HSE culture. The same company’s annual surveys of self-reported working environment were analysed in Paper II and III. In Paper II a longitudinal design of both self-reported data and data from a company register were used, including items on working onshore or offshore, department, age, gender, perception of nearest manager, confidence in management, HSE behaviour, competence, collaboration and procedures. We also analysed health and safety performance; sickness absence, recordable injuries, serious incidents and undesirable incidents. Paper III was a longitudinal study design from 2003 to 2005 performed with data from employees from offshore and onshore plants. We included the same items from the self-reporting working environment survey as in paper II. Paper IV was a cross-sectional study including 4479 employees in 2005. The data came from the Petroleum Safety Authorities project “Trends in Risk Levels”. The five largest companies on the Norwegian continental shelf were analysed, using factors relevant for safety and working environment. In this thesis we have studied six factors that might be a part of HSE culture: Management, behaviour, competence, collaboration, procedures and the physical environment. Paper I includes all the factors. The other studies are partly based upon the first study, looking at some of these factors in more detail or from another angle. Results In study I, we found that the “HSE culture” concept was used in three ways. The most common was descriptive, but also a causal way and a systematic way were applied. Managers and employees differed little in the use of the concept. Management, behaviour, competence, collaboration, procedures and the physical environment were found to be important for the HSE culture and the relationship between them was illustrated as an HSE culture umbrella. In study II, we found that cconfidence in management was negatively associated with recordable injuries. Offshore workers reported lower scores for working condition factors than onshore workers. In study III we found that onshore petroleum workers were generally more satisfied with all organisational and working environment factors than offshore employees, especially on items concerning management and procedures. In study IV we found that the installation (local working environment) explained more than company belonging within the safety climate dimensions ”Safety prioritisation”, ”Safety versus production”, “Individual motivation”, ”System comprehension” and ”Competence”. Contractor employees answered more positively on the health and safety dimensions than operator employees did. Conclusions This study has shown that “HSE culture” is a concept with several meanings, and management, behaviour, competence, procedures, collaboration and physical conditions are factors of importance. Company working and organisational survey might be used as indicators of risk of injuries. Management style and trust in the manager are important factors for personal injuries. Onshore workers were more satisfied with all organisational and working environment factors. Differences in management style and resources, type of shift work and living conditions might be important in explaining the differences. Local HSE work on the offshore installations and the HSE work by the company have importance for the HSE culture in the petroleum industry.
Paper I: Safety Science 2009 47(7), Høivik, D.; Moen, B. E.; Mearns, K.; Haukelid, K., An explorative study of health, safety and environment culture in a Norwegian petroleum company, pp. 992-1001. Copyright 2008 Elsevier Ltd. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. Full text is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2008.11.003Paper II: Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 49(2), Høivik, D.; Baste, V.; Brandsdal, E.; Moen, B. E., Associations between self-reported working conditions and registered health and safety results, pp. 139-147. Copyright 2007 American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. Full text is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e31802f43ebPaper III: Maritime Medicine Journal 8(1), Høivik, D.; Brandsdal, E.; Moen B. E., Nearest management is important for health and safety. A longitudinal study of perceived working conditions in offshore and onshore petroleum industry, pp. 38-55. Copyright 2008 Sociedad Española de Medicina Marítima. Reproduced with permission. Published version.Paper IV: Safety Science 2009 47(10), Høivik, D.; Tharaldsen, J. E.; Baste, V.; Moen, B. E., What is most important for safety climate; the company belonging or the local working environment? - A study from the Norwegian offshore industry, pp. 1324-1331. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. Full text is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2009.04.001