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Legislation and Regulations

This page provides information about legislation, etc. in the occupational safety and health field, both from The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and other regulatory bodies.

The Working Environment Act

The Working Environment Act (English version in full text - pdf format) stipulates that all employees in Norwegian companies must have a satisfactory working environment. The act applies to all businesses who have employees, except for the merchant marine and the fishing fleet.

All companies are obliged to adopt a systematic approach to their working environment. This is specifically noted in The regulation concerning a systematic approach to health, environment and safety in the workplace (Internal Control Regulations)


The Labour Inspection Authority issues regulations, that within its area of responsibility, are more detailed than The Working Environment Act. Any business failing to comply with these regulations, renders itself liable to a penalty.


The Labour Inspection Authority's guidelines explain the regulations and advise on how various problems can be solved. As the guidelines only provide examples of how the user can contribute to a meet a requirement, the guidelines are not legally binding in the same way as the regulations.

In addition to administering The Working Environment Act and its associated regulations, The Labour Inspection Authority administers, supervises and provides information about the following Acts:
The Act Relating to Wage Guarantees, The Act Relating to Holidays, the Act Relating to Guaranteed Wage during Lay-offs, the Act Relating to May 1 and May 17 as Public Holidays and parts of The Act Relating to Prevention of the Harmful Effects of Tobacco.

The Labour Inspection Authority's website provides a detailed overview in Norwegian of the regulations that The Labour Inspection Authority administers. It is possible to order all of the publications. All of the regulations, and most of the guidelines can be read without charge.
The site also contains an overview of relevant EEA directives concerning occupational safety and health and where these can be found in the Norwegian regulations. (Click on the triangle next to "Hele direktivet på engelsk" in order to read the directive in English)

Click here for a link to the Labour Inspection Authority's legislation website.

Working environment for seafarers

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate monitors the working environment at sea (mercantile marine, fishing and trapping). This sector is regulated in the Seaman's Act (not available in English) and its associated regulations.

Working environment on oil installations

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate monitors the working environment in Norwegian offshore oil activity. The Working Environment Act also applies here, although with certain specific regulations that are based on the Petroleum Directorate's regulations. More information about this can be found at the Petroleum Directorate's website. Click here.

Working environment for civil aviation employees

The Civil Aviation Authority (Norwegian language only) is the main supervisory body for the working environment for flight personnel in civil aviation when they are in the air. The Labour Inspection Authority supervises them when they are "on the ground", and in specific areas of the regulations for flight personnel. Military aviation is excepted from these regulations.

Other relevant regulations

Regulations relevant to electical safety and prevention of fire and explosion are administered by The Directorate for Fire and Electrical Safety

Posting of foreign employees in Norway and Norwegian employees abroad

Which regulations are applicable to foreign employees who are posted to Norway? And which regulations apply to Norwegian employees who are posted abroad? Click here