Data from the Petroleum Safety Authority in Norway (PSA) indicate a generally high safety level in the industry. However, in recent years there have been rising numbers of safety incidents with potential to develop into major accidents at onshore installations.

The overarching aim of the project is to reduce the risk level for safety incidents in the Norwegian petroleum industry.

– Several risk factors exist, and in this project we will gather new knowledge on potential risks specifically linked to night work in the Northern area (71 degrees North), says STAMI-researchers Fred Haugen and Dagfinn Matre, who initiated the project.

Seasonal variations

The researchers will measure seasonal variations in light, cold exposure, and sleep among shift-working petroleum workers in the Northern area. Then they will map the relationship between these exposures and indicators of sleepiness and circadian rhythm disturbances.

Furthermore, the researchers will test and expand a bio-mathematical models of sleep regulation in the brain, with the objective of developing a tool to predict sleepiness during work in environments with significant seasonal variations in light and temperature.

Daily measurements of subjective and objective sleepiness, sleep patterns, and sleep habits throughout both winter and summer will be taken. Additionally, we will assess the impact of being cold at work during both seasons to obtain data on seasonal variations.

Mathematical modelling

Using mathematical models, we will determine whether sleepiness at work can be predicted based on work schedule and the working environmental factors that characterize the Northern Areas.

The novelty of the project lies in combining measurements in a natural working environment with mathematical modelling. We expect to improve existing models so they can be used to design work schedules that optimize sleep and minimize the risk of safety incidents.

NORALERT is part of ICELAB, STAMI’s strategic research initiative on cold working environments and occupational health.


To develop mathematical tools to predict sleepiness among night shift workers according to seasons in the Arctic. Improve the knowledge needed to design shift schedules that reduce risk of accidents in Arctic shift work. Enhance self-awareness to improve sleep-habits among our participants.

One PhD degree in progress, one report to stakeholders published, one scientific article published, and seven articles planned and in progress.


PROJECT GROUP: Kathrine Holm, Dagfinn Matre, Anne-Mari Gjestvang Moe, Tiril Schjølberg, Mina Baarnes Eriksen, Line Victoria Moen and Andreas Holme