Stressing safety

December 10, 2002, 10:15 CET

The American DuPont company has been assigned to carry out a thorough review of Statoil's safety culture. Routines for management and control, behaviour and attitudes at all levels of the organisation will be examined. The analysis is to start immediately.

"Developments in the safety area this year are disquieting," says chief executive Olav Fjell. "Statoil should be a safe workplace, free of accidents for our employees and contractors. We have to examine our procedures, and we need suggestions as to how we can reverse the negative trend and get back on the right track."

DuPont was chosen on the basis of its sound experience in this field. The company is renowned for its safety systems. Statoil's current safety systems are based largely on the DuPont philosophy.

Mr Fjell notes that management and working routines are influenced largely by human behaviour and cultural patterns and he believes that these need to be challenged. It is crucial that all levels of the organisation share the same clear perception of what a good safety culture is, and this understanding must be put into practice through concrete action and improvement measures.

"Improving safety is demanding and long-term work," says Mr Fjell. "It is sometimes necessary to change routines and attitudes. That requires conscious and lengthy efforts."

This work will get top priority in Statoil in coming months. The results of the review along with proposed improvement measures will be ready during the spring of 2003.