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Psychosocial risks and hydrocarbon leaks : an exploration of their relationship in the Norwegian oil and gas industry

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Author: Bergh, L.I.V. · Ringstad, A.J. · Leka, S. · Zwetsloot, G.I.J.M.
Source:Journal of Cleaner Production, 1, 84, 824-830
Identifier: 521601
doi: doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.09.040
Keywords: Workplace · Hydrocarbon leaks · Psychosocial risks · Oil and gas · Psychosocial risk management · Accident prevention · Accidents · Gas industry · Gases · Offshore structures · Oil shale · Public utilities · Regression analysis · Risk assessment · Risk management · Correlation analysis · Offshore installations · Oil and gas companies · Oil and Gas Industry · Psychosocial risk factors · Underlying factors · Hydrocarbons · Work and Employment · Healthy Living · Resilient Organisations · SHB - Safe & Healthy Business · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Hydrocarbon leaks have a major accident potential in the oil and gas industry. Over the years the oil and gas industry in Norway has worked hard to find means to prevent hydrocarbon leaks and is today able to report significant progress. In this context, the exploration of accidents in light of human error linked to underlying factors related to the organisation, design and management of work, also called psychosocial risk factors, has been established as a major priority. The objective of this study was to explore to what extent a psychosocial risk indicator obtained from survey data shows a significant relationship with hydrocarbon leaks on Norwegian oil and gas producing platforms and whether it can be used as a proactive indicator for the prevention of such leaks. The context is a major oil and gas company in Norway where the number of hydrocarbon leaks at offshore installations in the period from 2010 to 2011 was considered. This study also explored whether technical factors such as installation age, weight and number of leakage sources have an impact on the number of hydrocarbon leaks at offshore installations. Regression analysis results showed that only the psychosocial risk indicator significantly accounted for variation in hydrocarbon leaks. Only partial support was found for the relationship between technical factors and hydrocarbon leaks on the basis of correlation analysis. The paper offers recommendations for the development of more robust indicator models to prevent hydrocarbon leaks in the oil and gas industry.