An explorative study of health, safety and environment culture in a Norwegian Petroleum company

Dordi Hoivik, Bente E Moen, Kathryn Mearns, Knut Hauklid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a qualitative interview study of 31 employees, with and without leadership responsibility, employed in a Norwegian petroleum company. Health, safety and environment (HSE) culture was a new concept and the aim of this study was to gain insight into how the workers conceptualized the concept, different aspects of HSE culture and differences between the informants. The informants used the concept HSE culture in three ways. The most common way was descriptive, and the informants gave both positive and negative descriptions. Also a causal way of using the concept and a systemic way was used. Safety was the topic mentioned most, especially by informants from the operational units. However, occupational health and the working environment were also mentioned as important. Managers and employees differed little in the use of the concept of HSE culture and their opinions about the HSE challenges. Management was frequently mentioned as being important by all. Behaviour, competence, collaboration, procedures and the physical environment were found to be important in a sound HSE culture. These results are illustrated as an HSE culture umbrella in the discussion for further communication on the topic. This figure illustrates the important results of the study; managers and employees are partners in a system of interrelationships and they have different roles and actions in the HSE work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-1001
Number of pages10
JournalSafety Science
Issue number7
Early online date30 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


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