Honored for efforts to combat noise damage

April 25, 2007, 16:00 CEST

Hydro received the prize "Noise Reducer of the Year" from the Norwegian Association for Noise Reduction during an event held at the Norwegian Parliament underground station in Oslo on Wednesday.

The event was part of "International Noise Awareness Day," which was established in 1996 by the League for the Hard of Hearing in New York, and was the eighth time the event has been observed in Norway.

"The prize provides motivation for continued efforts to combat noise damage and other work-related injuries and illness, and not least it is well-deserved recognition for principal engineer Asle Melvær, who has been an important expert and enthusiast in Hydro's noise project," says Vice President Gunnar Breivik, head of HSE for Hydro's offshore activities in Norway.

According to the Norwegian Association for Noise Reduction, the prize "Noise Reducer of the Year" is awarded to Hydro as recognition of comprehensive work to combat noise issues in the offshore business. The work has resulted in a model for charting noise problems and assessing risks, and guidelines for measures against harmful noise. Asle Melvær's model is presented in such a way that it is possible for all employees – from corporate management to individual units – to understand why noise is a problem, and see the need for measures to combat this.

"Several years ago we focused our attention on noise problems in our offshore activities. The aim has been that everyone working in our plants should hear just as well when they go home as when they arrived at the plant. Through the noise project and the model Asle Melvær has been responsible for, we have gained a much better understanding of the noise risk in our business. This has enabled us to reduce the amount of work taking place in those areas most exposed to noise pollution, and to adopt measures to reduce individual employees' exposure to noise. We are proud of the prize, and of the fact that we have capable professionals like Asle Melvær, with great spirit and tenacity," Breivik comments.

The model has been implemented at 10 of Hydro's offshore installations.

The Norwegian Association for Noise Reduction ("Norsk forening mot støy") urges all actors in the Norwegian offshore business to adopt the noise model: The planned, merged corporate giant StatoilHydro is called on to prioritize the work to implement the noise regime in all of the corporations' activities. The model should also provide inspiration for other kinds of industrial businesses to work on risk assessment and protecting employees from noise, it says in a statement issued by the Association.