In 2001 the concept of HSE culture was adopted and implemented as part of Norwegian «Regulations relating to health, environment and safety in the petroleum activities» (i.e. the Framework Regulations). A main objective stated in §1 a) was to «further a high level as regards health, environment and safety in the petroleum activities».
Excellent HSE quality was perceived to be part of the «licence-to-operate». Still, some stakeholders hold grave doubts about the realism of such political statements. The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has at several occasions argued that this «world class» image does not hold up to reality, demanding that the industry has to make a quantum leap in order to reach such a stage of HSE excellence (c.f. «Principal signals» in text box). Despite 45 years of Norwegian offshore petroleum activities the HSE level is deemed sub-standard compared to government expectations and the self-declared leading edge reputation (Hansen 2006).