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 Why Is the Construction Industry Killing More Workers Than the Offshore Petroleum Industry in Occupational Accidents?

 

​Forfattere: Kinga Wasikiewicz, Marie Nilsen og
Eirik Albrechtsen.



​​In Norway, the fatal accident frequency per year is discernibly higher in the construction industry than in the petroleum industry. To probe the difference between the occupational safety levels in the two industries in Norway, semi-structured interviews with regulators, employer and employee organisations, company management, and safety personnel were conducted. This qualitative approach, together with factual industry information, offer invaluable insight on various elements influencing occupational safety. Rasmussen’s socio-technical model is used to sort the information and compare framework conditions, characteristics and aspects of the two industries influencing safety. Though the construction industry’s safety level has improved over the years, the results indicate that the petroleum industry’s safety level is still considered superior to its counterpart. The interviews point to major accidents and regulations as important for safety development in the petroleum industry. Thorough planning of operations, stricter rules, more standardised procedures and requirements, and fewer actors in the petroleum industry are also highlighted. The results of this study further reveal that safety in the construction industry has benefitted from safety developments in the petroleum industry. There is potential for more learning across the industries, in particular from petroleum to construction with regard to standardisation, barrier-thinking, and knowledge-sharing.

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