StatoilHydro to Improve Safety after Fatal Accident on Oseberg B

Inquiries by StatoilHydro and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) into a death on Oseberg B on May 7 form a good basis for further efforts to make scaffolding work in the oil industry safer.

"Together with the relevant contractors, we'll be taking the necessary steps to avoid a repetition of such tragic accidents," said Torstein Hole, senior vice president for the operations west business cluster in StatoilHydro. The cluster includes the Oseberg, Snorre, Statfjord and Gullfaks fields.

StatoilHydro has received the PSA's investigation report into the North Sea incident, which resulted in the loss of a scaffolder's life. "We'll be reviewing this document in detail," said Hole.

"Combined with the findings of our own inquiry, we now have a good basis for continued efforts to strengthen the safety of scaffolding work in our operations."

Representatives from the management and workforce in the group as well as at contractors Aibel and STS will now examine all relevant conditions. This will be followed by the establishment of a detailed action plan within the deadlines set both by StatoilHydro and by the PSA.

Immediately after the May 7 incident, the group implemented a time-out on all its platforms and a review of working at a height, with the focus on the necessary safety precautions. Both management and personnel involved in the actual work on all offshore shifts participated in this activity.

"We will be giving the PSA a report on our improvement measures by the deadline of October 1," said Hole.