Human related root causes behind oil well drilling accidents
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Many accident investigation techniques and other methods used by the petroleum industry today list a set of underlying human related causes and subsequent improvement suggestions. Do these techniques address the root cause behind the problem so that the appropriate initiatives can be implemented? The focus of the present thesis was to determine the human related root cause of two major accidents in the North Sea. This in order to give recommendations to improve the safety levels in the organisation. In order to achieve the above-mentioned goals, the IPT Knowledge Model was adapted to the given accidents. The data input into the model was based on interpreted observations from former investigation reports. The analysis of the blowout on Snorre A and the well control incident on Gullfaks C resulted in 49 and 63 observations respectively. For both accidents, the Human Factor that was indicated to have the largest affect on the accidents was Training and Competency (29% for Snorre A and 19% for Gullfaks C). Lack of competence was indicated as the majority subclass. Collectively, management and supervision, or lack thereof, was also indicated as being a contributing factor to the accidents. These final results coincide with the findings in other investigation reports. However, these are more acute, indicating a specific area of improvement within the company. By increasing the competency levels within the company and ensuring that the leaders and management have the proper tools to follow-up their employees and their operations, the safety levels and culture will improve.