Technically, the phrase "health and the working environment" means all physical, psychological, social well-being and organisational factors relating to humans, technology and organisation (including exposure and interaction).
In practice, it means a healthy and meaningful workplace.
However one sees it, a healthy working environment is crucial to reaching our goals.
Statoil makes systematic efforts to design and improve the working environment in order to prevent occupational accidents, work-related diseases and sickness absence.
We emphasise the psychosocial aspects of the working environment and promote the good health and well-being of all our employees.
We have identified five strategic areas for risk assessment: chemical exposure, workload, noise, ergonomics and health promotion.
Priorities are decided in the knowledge that human health is affected by several determining factors. They include elements of workplace risk that can lead to work accidents, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, circulatory diseases, cancers, stress-related disorders, communicable diseases and others.
To prevent accidents, illnesses and disorders, Statoil endeavours to nurture a good technical and physical working environment, competent management, and a good work organisation.
We are also concerned with assessing the possible impact of our presence on health in the local community, which is reflected in our promotion of sustainable development and taking social responsibility.
We endeavour to fully implement our health and working environment strategy. Statoil's business areas focus on relevant working environment risks, and take the necessary actions to control risk and develop the working environment.
A good psychosocial working environment promotes better performance and creativity, greater tolerance and presence of mind.
We systematically manage psychosocial risk in the working environment and place special emphasis on work-related stress. We use the PRIMA (psychosocial risk management approach) method, as well as other methods. Additional programmes have been developed to increase the management team's ability to handle employee workload.
Several parts of the company are testing a proactive HSE indicator that measures psychosocial risk. The indicator is based on questions from our annual working environment and organisation survey, and is published as a single score.
We recognise that noise and damage to hearing are significant challenges in our industry.
Reducing the risk of noise-induced hearing damage is a priority in Statoil. Ongoing projects to identify, assess and manage noise are being carried out on Norwegian offshore installations. Statoil funds two noise research projects on hearing protection and noise exposure. This includes analysing the hearing status of offshore workers and use of a hearing loss simulator.
In collaboration with the Research Council of Norway, research organisation Sintef and hearing protection manufacturer Nacre, we have developed a new hearing protection and communication system. The system has new functions, such as the ability to measure noise exposure in the eardrum and trigger an alarm when noise exceeds the pre-set dose. The system is also able to monitor the user's hearing. We aspire to develop new knowledge and technology that prevents occupational hearing damage.
We have also launched a pilot programme for noise control that uses R&D experience to improve hearing protection and control.
Proper ergonomics and variation of work tasks are vitally important to human health. Statoil therefore strongly emphasises workplace layout and design.
We know that user-centred workplace design contributes to more efficient and safe work performance. In connection with the design and implementation of integrated operations, human factor expertise is important in providing analyses and ensuring a basis for efficient and error-tolerant solutions.
Expertise in human factors plays a major role when designing workplaces such as central control rooms, driller cabins and collaboration rooms for integrated operations. Expertise in human factors has also become an important component in Statoil's approach to incident investigations.
We monitor risk related to the working environment and monitor the health of our people. Statoil employs highly skilled occupational health and working environment professionals.
Expatriates with dependent family undergo relevant health assessments/examinations and are given necessary vaccinations and pertinent health training before expatriation.
While abroad, expatriates and dependent family undergo health checks that are adjusted to local needs and conditions. When the expatriation period ends, they undergo a medical check-up at which special attention is paid to infectious diseases and other relevant issues based on a risk assessment. For certain areas, expatriates and dependent family are specifically informed about risks relating to food and water.
Managing health risks from chemical exposure is an important part of our sustainable development policy. The business areas perform systematic occupational hygiene measurements and risk assessments of work processes and work areas where exposure to hazardous chemicals could occur.
We also endeavour to develop and introduce new technology that improves the chemical working environment and we are carrying out several R&D projects relating to chemical health risks.
We strive to ensure healthy conditions and healthy workers at all our locations. The work starts with baseline studies followed by the implementation of company requirements for health and the working environment.
A work process is in place to ensure the correct choice and use of personal protective gear.
We emphasise preventive healthcare as well as high-quality treatment. To ensure rapid service for employees on international assignments and worldwide travel, we offer a 24/7 medical duty roster telephone line from Norway.
Our health promotion programme "Inspiration" is motivating thousands of employees to participate in physical activities. An internet-based health promotion programme is available to those who wish to check and perhaps adjust their alcohol consumption.
Our health and working environment professionals participate actively in national and international conferences and exhibitions. We believe it is important to share our experiences and knowledge with others.
Statoil participates actively in the OGP/IPIECA health committee and in international occupational hygiene, occupational medicine and ergonomic networks.