It is a fundamental principle of current regulations that a company’s working environment and working hours arrangements must be fully compliant.  In recent years, as a result of audit findings, reports of concern and responses to RNNP questionnaires, Havtil has been stepping up its follow-up of working hours practices in the industry. 


In our judgement, challenges linked to working hours management and breaches of working hours provisions may be the result either of inadequate operations management or insufficient correspondence between tasks and resources.

We have been working to develop knowledge and disseminate our experience from audits and other supervisory activities in the field of working hours and sound manning practices.

Our audits in this field have revealed the following:

  • the extensive use of overtime
  • inadequacies in the registration and monitoring of working hours
  • inadequate awareness of the regulations
  • poor awareness of the risks linked to working overtime – both for the health of individuals and the risk of misactions that could result in a major accident.


In 2023, we published the report ‘Kartlegging av arbeidstid i petroleumsnæringen’ (Survey of working hours in the petroleum industry), in which SINTEF found that the use of overtime and extended periods offshore have increased in recent years.

Different fields of work exhibit different levels of overtime use. Managers, in particular, and employees in the fields of process and well services report high levels of overtime.

The study also revealed that those who reported overtime issues were also more likely to report high workloads, goal conflicts, high work demands, low levels of self-determination and health problems.

In April, Havtil presented an abstract entitled ‘Non-Compliance with Offshore Working Hour Regulations: a Regulatory Perspective’ at the research seminar WINC (Working hours In the Nordic Countries).


This helped to raise awareness in academia of the problems linked to working hours practices offshore. We are now seeing the impact of this work, in that the industry has increased its awareness of the issue.

In May, we hosted a seminar entitled ‘Forsvarlig arbeidstid?’ (What are reasonable working hours?), at which there were presentations from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, STAMI and SINTEF. The seminar attracted great interest.

We have also been invited to present this topic on several occasions both for individual companies and organisations.

The issue has also been on the agenda at the Safety Forum and in our meetings with the Labour Inspection Authority. Moreover, the initiative ‘Samarbeid for sikkerhet’ (Working together for safety) has established a tripartite collaborative working group called  ‘Forsvarlighetsvurderinger av arbeidstid’, which will assess the reasonableness of working hours practices.

This article has been taken from the 2023 Havtil Annual Report, submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Energy. Read the Annual Report in full here: Annual report 2023: The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority