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Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)

Michael G. Stamatelatos
Michael G. Stamatelatos
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Harold S. Blackman
Harold S. Blackman
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ASME Press
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Norwegian offshore petroleum production offers demanding organizational challenges. Due to the shift system, the employees have a discontinuous work situation; the shift system implies that many persons share each job, and that several changes with consequences for ones work may have occurred during the time off. There is a huge number of interfaces between divisions of labor, professions, companies, shifts, crews, managers-workers, personnel working land-offshore etc. The situation seems to invite for failures and losses in production efficiency as well as in health, safety and environment (HSE) matters.

During autumn 2003 the offshore oil production shift schedule at the Norwegian sector of the North Sea changed, till even more time off for everyone employed offshore. In January 2003, i.e. before the shift schedule change, one platform wanted to prepare to the new situation by starting the development process “Smarter Together”. In cooperation with the research organization SINTEF, the process was implemented at Norsk Hydro's Oseberg Field Centre (OSF). Smarter Together is a four step organizational development process, based upon three core values: i) bottom-up participation, ii) focusing the actual work team, crosswise interfaces, iii) encouraging trust, playfulness and confidence.

The researcher team has the experience and view, that safety and efficiency are two faces of the same coin, rather than opposites. The goals for accomplishing the development process before the shift system change were improved work processes, giving increased safety, productivity and efficiency. The platform management aimed at introducing the new shift system at the platform without increasing the manning.

Systematically risk analysis approaches were applied in the process. The initial identification of improvement needs was fulfilled through several excursions, offshore and onshore. The results were reported in a risk assessment structure: 1) uncover potential incidents, hazards and unsatisfactory conditions, 2) identify direct and underlying causes, 3) analyze consequences, 4) judge probability and seriousness and 5) suggest measures. Search conferences were tailor-made according to what challenges to address and who to be participate.

Following the risk assessment structure described above, the groups worked with SINTEF prepared matrices. In addition, the group work had a coarse evaluation of the suggested measures, including cost / benefit assessments, identification of any new problems initialized by the measure, and suggestion of parameters for measurement of effects.

Maintenance was a target area to improve; e.g. planning and preparations, spare part systems and handling of them, as well as reporting and analyzes of repeated maintenance needs. The improvement potentials were to a large extent founded on the need for better cooperation and coordination between maintenance departments and production department, as well as better interaction between land-offshore, and between management and employees. SINTEF processed the output from the search conferences, suggested prioritizing criteria and prioritizing of the measures.

Norsk Hydro decided to implement the measures that the participants worked out during the search conferences. This paper describes the structure of the work, and illustrates the appearance and use of the risk assessment approach in prepared matrices. The paper also discusses how measurable HSE and efficiency results, as well as non-measurable effects, indicate a positive development at the OSF platform. The platform passed the “final exam”; they introduced the new shift arrangement without problems, with the same manning as they had.

1 Introduction
2 Theory and Method
3 Accomplishment Experiences
4 Effects and Discussion
5 Conclusions
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