Our research group was engaged by a major petroleum company in 2001 as a part of an effort to improve the safety on contracted offshore service vessels. The number of personal injuries on the vessels had increased during the preceding years, as well as the number of collisions/contacts between the vessels and the installation. We established the safety development programme “Improving Vessel Safety” in 2001, and in the subsequent years there has been a considerable reduction in personal injury rates and in the frequency of collisions/contacts.
Although it is difficult to relate these positive results to the programme, results from different studies give indirect evidence of its contribution: every second year, all crewmembers on the vessels working for the petroleum company have completed a working-environment survey. The longitudinal results indicate an increase in the level of trust towards the operator and in attention to and prioritizing of safety during the programme period (Fenstad, 2008). Furthermore, other studies have concluded that the programme has improved the communication and cooperation between the petroleum company and the vessels. Some of these changes can be linked to an improvement in the safety culture on the vessels (Antonsen et al., 2007).