Supply ship collides with 2/4 JNew platform removal season

Sexual harassment reduced on Ekofisk

person by Kristin Øye Gjerde, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
The oil industry has always been male-dominated, and it is well-known that many men working offshore over the years have had pin-ups on the walls and a crude way of talking.
— Illustration designed by macrovector/Freepik
© Norsk Oljemuseum

Women who came out to the platforms did so on male terms. Many of them did not dare to speak out about things they found unpleasant for fear of reprisals. 

On some occasions, however, such issues ended up with the unions and efforts were made to ensure that the workplace was comfortable for everyone. 

One incident occurred at Easter 2011, when three men from contractor Beerenberg were excluded from Ekofisk by ConocoPhillips because it said they had sexually harassed a female employee.[REMOVE]Fotnote: E24 Petromedia, 27.04.2011.

This alleged incident occurred in the Ekofisk hotel lift when the trio were engaged in a rather vulgar conversation about women and sex. 

The lift stopped and a young women got in. The men continued chatting, and were later called in by the offshore installation manager to answer a charge of sexually harassment. 

They apologised profusely, but were nevertheless excluded from returning to work. According to the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF), this was in line with the regulations. 

The employer’s organisation maintained that suspending personnel was not unusual – either on land or offshore – while an issue was under investigation. 

However, the main safety delegate in the United Federation of Trade Unions took a different view: “I wouldn’t reject the possibility that this’ll end up in the Labour Court. 

“This is a male environment, and the girl has experienced a bit of a culture shock in many respects. All three of them regret that.” 

Two of the affected employees were members of the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives and the Norwegian Union of Energy Workers (Safe) respectively. 

historie, bedre holdninger på ekofisk, 2011
The Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, (2010-2016) Sunniva Ørstavik. Photo: LDO CC BY-SA 3.0

Equal opportunities commissioner Sunniva Ørstavik maintained that efforts to change attitudes on sexual harassment should form part of health, safety and environmental (HSE) training. 

That was because all employees had a legal duty to work systematically to prevent such incidents. Everyone should be treated with respect at work, regardless of gender, race or religion, she affirmed.[REMOVE]Fotnote:

Supply ship collides with 2/4 JNew platform removal season
Published 18. September 2019   •   Updated 20. October 2019
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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