Working Environment of offshore oil and gas operations

The Offshore Safety Act applies on the Danish Continental Shelf rather than the Working Environment Act.

Risk Assessment

The risk assessment requires an assessment of the health and safety risks, both as regards to the risk of major hazards which typically are linked to the plant's structural safety (installation integrity) and other risks, which are typically the health and safety risks in the workplace. The latter corresponds broadly to the requirement on land known as risk assessment. These risks should then be reduced to a level that is as low as is reasonably practicable - the so-called ALARP principle.

The operator of a production installation is responsible for the risk assessment together with the safety organization. Members of the safety organization are elected safety representatives, supervisors and the management for the installation.

For non-production installations, typical mobile units, the company that has a contract with the operator will be responsible together with the safety organization for the risk assessment. The company is called for owner, whether or not the company owns the mobile non-production installation.

The risk assessment shall be documented in a health and safety report, which shall be forwarded to the DWEA in connection with applications for licenses and permits regarding to the Offshore Safety Act.

Other Health Conditions

In addition to health and safety conditions in the workplace, the Offshore Safety Act also requires that other health conditions on offshore installations shall be satisfactory.
Such conditions are typical:

  • General hygiene
  • Drinking water and water quality
  • Indoor climate
  • Recovery and rest in leisure time.
  • Exemption from exposure to tobacco smoke

Regulation of the working environment on offshore installations

The requirements for health and safety on offshore installations are essentially the same as for the Working Environment Act on land-based companies.

The regulatory framework is not the Working Environment Act, but the Offshore Safety Act (Consolidated Act No. 831 of 1 July 2015), changed with the Act No. 425 of 18 May 2016 (section 40) and woth the Act No. 1542 of 19 December 2017 (section 1)).

Guidelines for conducting a risk assessment can be found in the DWEA Guidelines:

The DWEA Guideline No. D.1.1 on workplace assessment July 2009 - Updated April 2016 (only in Danish Edition). The guidance can be applied to offshore installations.

The regulatory basis for risk assessment of offshore installations is the DWEA Executive Order No. 1404 of 4 December 2017 on Management of Safety and Health etc. in connection with offshore oil and gas operations etc. (only in Danish Edition).

Reference is made to the DWEA Guideline No. 65.1.08 September 2016, on risk management in connection with offshore oil and gas operations.