Doing more for health emergencies

April 26, 1999, 10:00 CEST

Emergency health care arrangements on Statoil's fields off Norway need to be improved, an internal inquiry has found.

This assessment follows three deaths from heart attacks last year on mobile rigs working for Statoil on Norne and Heidrun.

These fatalities prompted the county medical officer for Rogaland - which embraces Stavanger - to ask the group to review its emergency health care on these Norwegian Sea fields.

An internal inquiry team was appointed in March to assess the arrangements, and reported on 4 April.

It concluded that improvements were needed, particularly to alerting routines, communication, equipment for acute medical emergencies and procedures as well as personnel training.

Company medical officer Geir Skogland, who chaired the team, also notes that serious heart failures on two mobile rigs in the Norwegian Sea within a six-month period represent a statistical coincidence.

These rigs could just as easily have been operating elsewhere on the Norwegian continental shelf, he points out.

Recommendations in the inquiry report will now be followed up. Statoil has established a broad-based internal task force which is due to recommend how the necessary action should be taken.

This task force will also initiate various immediate measures, and is scheduled to report by 25 June.