Norway’s HSE regulations are by and large formulated in terms of the performance to be achieved. Many of these requirements are supplemented by references to industrial standards and norms.
The latter indicate in turn the level of safety which must be achieved in order to meet the required performance. Appropriate and updated standards are therefore important for the satisfactory working of the regulatory regime.
Both the use of standards and efforts to develop national and international standards are important aspects of standardisation work. We see certain challenges in both areas.
developments. The scope of company-specific specifications has increased considerably, for example, at the expense of using standards.
Greater pressure is also being placed on performance-based requirements in the standards – in other words, they are becoming less specific.
We regard this as a cause for concern. Even if much of the detail in the standards disappears, this will always be needed and could be pushed instead into company-specific specifications.
Alternatively, it will be necessary to return to a regime of detailed regulations.
Prioritised and purposeful application of resources to standardisation is important for securing the benefits offered by using and having access to updated and appropriate standards. This helps to ensure solutions which are cost-efficient and robust in safety terms, as well as innovative technology and sound processes.
We therefore want greater attention to be paid to updating and developing recognised national and international standards, and companies to allocate sufficient resources for this work.
We will be devoting greater efforts than in the past to monitoring the industry’s standardisation work. That includes looking at how the companies utilise national and international standards.
Our view is that using standards is positive, both because the level of efficiency improves and because paying greater attention to standards is the best way to ensure that more resources are devoted to their development.
In addition to following up their use through our supervisory activities, we will also continue to contribute to the job of developing appropriate standards.