Norway's PSA Initiates Human Factors Study



Failures in the interaction between people, technology and organization have emerged during recent years as part of the causal picture in serious incidents. Many of these incidents on the Norwegian continental shelf relate to drilling operations.

To gain an overview of the challenges seen by the industry and activities planned and initiated to improve human factors (HF) in drilling operations, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has requested relevant information from operators, shipping companies, drilling contractors and equipment suppliers. The PSA has assessed company investigations into all serious incidents relating to drilling operations which have been reported to it over the past seven years with a view to identifying direct and underlying causes.

Recurring reasons relate to management and organization, weaknesses in organization and execution of the work, inadequate communication, and procedures/work instructions which are not known, understood or observed.

All these factors are included in the HF concept, which deals with the interaction between people, technology and organization.

Against this background, the PSA has selected improvements relating to HF in drilling operations as one of its priority areas for the time ahead.

The authority has accordingly initiated work which will seek to contribute to improvements in both equipment design and drilling area layout, as well as in the planning and execution of safety-critical work operations in drilling.

To obtain a picture of the challenges seen by the industry and the activities planned and initiated for drilling operations, the PSA has sent identical letters to the industry with a request for information from operators, shipping companies, drilling contractors and equipment suppliers in the following areas:

  • challenges relating to HF in drilling operations as perceived the companies
  • relevant projects and modifications
  • examples of relevant studies and analyses related to HF in drilling operations which have been carried out in recent years.

A response has been requested from the companies in these three areas by April 18, 2005.

In connection with its focus on HF related to drilling operations, the PSA will also stage a seminar for the industry during the year.

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