Human Factors (HF) currently have a high focus in the Petroleum Industry in Norway. The ultimate purpose of HF methods and knowledge is to establish a work situation that is efficient and safe and promotes the health of the workers. HF methods and knowledge contribute to create an efficient and reliable interaction between man, technology and organisation. A systematic HF analysis in design is one of the efforts contributions to improve HSE results.


The nature of work in industrialised societies has changed since the 1950s. Work has gone from being predominantly manual - or work with the body - to becoming predominantly cognitive - or works with the mind. This is also seen in the oil and gas industry in Norway. Machines are used to amplify or replace human functions and information technology has both increased the speed by which this development takes place and extended the areas of work that can be affected. New occupational health and working environment methods/analyses techniques are necessary in designing workplaces to establish a work situation that is efficient and safe and promotes the health of the workers. This paper gives an introduction to how Human Factors (HF) methods have been introduced to the oil and gas industry in Norway in general and particularly in Statoil, the largest oil and gas company in Norway. Challenges with introducing HF methods and techniques and further developing of the techniques will be discussed.

About Statoil

Statoil ASA is a Norwegian integrated oil and gas company with business activities in 29 countries. It was established in 1972 as the Norwegian states oil company; in 2001 it was partially privatised. The group has about 24.000 employees, about 11.000 working outside Norway. The group is operator for 60 per cent of all Norwegian oil and gas production, and its international production is rising steeply. Statoil operates 22 oil and gas fields on the Norwegian continental shield.

Statoil's objectives in Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) are zero harm to people or the environment and zero accidents and losses. It is recognized that a high performance in HSE has a value in itself. It is also a prerequisite for positive financial results and a good reputation. The zero mindset objective specifies that every accident or injury is unacceptable. Even though the results are good and improving, Statoil cannot rest based on its health and safety results so far, but must work hard and systematically to bring the number of accidents and injuries ever closer to zero.

One of Statoil´s aims, among others, is to be a front runner in applying new technology through a unique combination of energy resources and qualified personnel. To reach these ambitious goals, it is necessary to use HF methods in situations where such methods can give important input to efforts to increase safety and improve the work environment.

What is Human Factors?

HF refers to methods and knowledge that can be utilized to assess and improve the interaction between man, technology and organization. HF is an applied discipline based on input from various scientific disciplines, including sociology, psychology, physiology, health, working environment and engineering. The purpose is to establish a work situation that to the greatest possible extent is efficient and safe and promotes the health of the workers. The methods are based on human capabilities and needs.

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