International cooperation

The Danish Working Environment Authority (the DWEA) participates in international cooperation in a number of areas pertaining to health and safety offshore.

The international cooperation takes place amonog others through the North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum (NSOAF) and bilaterally with Norway and the UK as well as participation in the Offshore Mechanical Handling Equipment Committee (OMHEC).

Furthermore, the DWEA cooperates globally with other health and safety regulators throughout the International Regulators Forum (IRF).


The DWEA participates in the international group of OMHEC (Offshore Mechanical Handling Equipment Committee), together with representatives from offshore authorities from England, Norway, Netherlands, verification bodies and specialists in the field which discuss issues surrounding cranes and lifting equipment.

One of the purposes is to prepare guidance that can form a common ground for the health and safety aspects of crane and lifting operations to the offshore industry.

OMHEC signed a formal cooperation agreement with North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum (NSOAF) which will use OMHEC as competence in matters regarding lifting and crane operations from this point forward.

To make the results of the international regulatory cooperation more visible OMHEC established its own website, see it here. The page contains information about the organization, contact persons in each member state and the guidelines developed.


IRF (International Regulators Forum) is a forum for the regulatory authority in the offshore sector. The purpose of the forum is to strengthen the cooperation between the national regulatory authorities to improve the health and safety conditions offshore.

IRF has three main functions, the annual IRF meeting, the health and safety conferences and the working groups.

The annual IRF meeting features a review of the member countries opportunities and challenges in improving  the health and safety conditions. Besides that, the meeting is used to set the subjects and working programmes for the IRF working groups.

IRF has held a larger biannual health and safety conference since 2005 with participations from the regulatory authorities, industry and employees. 

For more information about IRF, including statistics on safety performance in the member countries.

Bilateral Cooperation

The DWEA meets once a year with the Petroleum Authority of Norway and the UK Health & Safety Executive.
On these meetings there is an exchange of experience and discussions of various activities and issues between the countries regarding health and safety offshore.

North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum

NSOAF (North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum) is a forum for cooperation between the authorities of the North Sea countries. The primary focus is on offshore health and safety and health.

NSOAF is a collaboration of primarily health and safety on offshore installations from the following countries (with the institutions in brackets):

The work of the NSOAF is primarily carried out through working groups nad network groups such as EU and training.

NSOAF meets in a plenary assembly once a year in the member countries on a rotational basis. On these meetings reports and future mandates of the working groups and networks are agreed.

The following working groups are present under NSOAF:

The Working Group on Health, Safety and Environment (HS & E Working Group)

The presidency of the working groups is on a rotational basis between the participants. The group is working on issues to improve safety, health and environment on offshore installations.

The working group cooperates with the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) in matters of common interest. IADC has issued guidelines for the preparation of a 'HSE Case' (health, safety and environment case) for drilling rigs. These guidelines are a starting point for drilling rigs to comply with the requirements in Directive 92/91/EEC on a safety and health document so that drilling companies do not have to prepare a new document every time the rigs cross a continental shelflimit, but only may have to add sections to fulfil national special requirements.

The Working Group is also performing joint audits of health and safety on offshore installations across national borders. The group has performed several of such audits on selected themes.

Working Group on wells (Wells Working Group)

The working group exchanges information and cooperate on health and safety matters related to drilling and other well operations, including matters relating to the prevention of uncontrolled blowouts.

One of the fundamental intentions of the group is to contribute to the ongoing improvement of safety and health in drilling operations, well workovers and other well related activities while working on reducing administrative burdens for companies working across borders in the North Sea.

The chairmanship of the working group is decided for 1-2 year at a time on a rotational basis.

The Network of the European Union (EU Network)

The network exchanges views and experiences concerning applicable EU rules and proposals for EU rules. The network shares country developments, lessons learned and briefs NSOAF plenary on EU issues as appropriate.

The Network of offshore training and education (Training Network)

The network discusses possible issues arising by the practical implementation of the mutual recognition of basic offshore safety training in the North Sea countries and discusses other matters regarding offshore training when appropriate.