An investigation by the safety division at the Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway discovered that many employees carried out maintenance in areas where Benzene concentration was far over the limit for required safety gear, such as over-pressured fresh air mask, and total body protection. The investigation found that from October 2007 until September 2014 Shell had not enforced Norwegian law requiring systematic chemical monitoring. Benzene is carcinogenic to humans, and no safe level of exposure can be recommended.
Whistleblower Runar Kjørsvik, the Main Safety Delegate elected by fellow members of the SAFE Union pointed out to Shell management that the employees had been potentially over-exposed with Benzene – a very dangerous chemical that and can cause cancer. See above World Health Organization Report about the associated risks.
Runar made it clear to Shell management that under Norwegian laws and safety regulations potential exposure to such a dangerous chemical must be registered in the health system in case of future health problems.
Top Shell management and the health division reacted angrily and according to Runar Kjørsvik tried to pretend that the potential exposure was not a significant health risk.
He says that up to this date the problem has not been addressed and plant employees working with benzene between 2007 and 2016 are still not registered in the required health system.
Runar believes that his raising of the benzene exposure and other safety issues, including management manipulation of safety reports and the supply of misinformation to the Norwegian Petrol Committee, cost him his job.
His health deteriorated after he was bombarded by threats from Shell management, Shell’s legal department, Shell HR, a Shell lawyer, the plant manager and even by a managing director of AS Norske Shell.
Even worse, Shell or its agents monitored all of his movements, even the time he spent going to the grocery store, and dates and times when he was driving his car. Many photographs were taken of his private property, his car and a Honda CRV. The surveillance photographs, which Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant admits having in its possession, were taken from the road, from a field, and even at sea from a boat.
His persecution by Shell involved an unscrupulous lawyer and a psychologist, both hired and no doubt generously paid for by their multinational master, Shell.
All of this North Korean like activity has added to the climate of fear associated with the Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant management.
An evil vindictive bunch more interested in bonuses than the safety of plant employees.