The water industry is characterized by many different tasks that entail high risk, both in water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants and in the transport system.
In 2015, the board of Norsk Vann established a committee to assess HSE routines in the water industry. The committee’s responsibility was essentially to map and describe the current situation as well as future challenges related to HSE within the industry. The evaluation of the current situation showed considerable differences between different municipalities/companies. Based on this, the committee concluded that there was a need to look more closely at best practice for HSE work in the industry.
Based on the recommendation from the committee, Norsk Vann initiated a project to prepare a manual for best practice for HSE work in the water industry. The project is managed by a project manager at Norsk Vann and a steering group with 5 representatives from Norsk Vann’s members. In addition, a reference group was appointed to ensure involvement across the industry. In order to utilize the steering and reference group’s expertise, a workshop was carried out to get specific input to the manual.
The resulting manual includes typical operational and maintenance tasks that entail high risk and issues associated with ensuring safety and health when working in water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants and transport systems for water and drainage. Furthermore, the manual describes typical risk factors related to the execution of various operational and maintenance tasks and risk mitigating measures.
The aim of the manual is to enable everyone in the water industry, managers, safety delegates and employees, to identify and assess whether operational and maintenance tasks that entail high risk, are carried out in a justifiable manner regarding health and safety. The guidelines are also intended to be used as support in the preparation of written instructions for hazardous operations, which are required in HSE management systems. The manual is based on best practice for HSE work in the industry and may in some areas go beyond the minimum requirements in legislation.