The organisation of occupational safety and health work in Norway
At the workplace
The main responsibility for a satisfactory working environment lies with the employer. Employees have both the right and obligation to participate in work to ensure this. In addition there are several important roles that are defined in the regulations:
All businesses must elect a safety delegate (other solutions may be agreed if the company has fewer than 10 employees). The safety delegate represents the employees in all matters that are relevant to the working environment.
The Working Environment Committee (AMU)
This committee concerns itself with matters relevant to the occupational environment. If the company has at least 20 employees and one of the parties requires it, a working environment committee must be established. The committee must have equal numbers of members from management and the employees. All companies with at least 50 employees must establish an AMU.
The Regulations for safety delegates and the Occupational Environment Committee: click here (Norwegian language only)
Health and safety personnel (VHP)
These are professional personnel who provide support to companies in their work in monitoring the working environment, who also provide suggestions for better solutions. Certain industries are at greater risk than others, and are required to have associated health and safety personnel. These industries are specified in a separate regulation. Health and safety personnel often belong to company's health scheme. For further information about health and safety personnel, click here (Norwegian language only)
The Secretariat for occupational health services, which is part of STAMI, the National Institute of Occupational Health, provides a list of Norwegian occupational health services. (Click on "BHT-sekretariat" at the STAMI website). (Norwegian language only)
Working environment authorities
Several different agencies monitor working environment activities in Norwegian workplaces, depending on whether they're on shore, off shore or in aviation. These agencies are located under various ministries. You can find links to the agencies on the regulation pages.
- The Labour Inspection Authority is responsible for onshore supervision (which includes loading and unloading ships and aircraft)
- The Norwegian Maritime Directorate monitors maritime activities (fishing, trapping vessels and the mercantile marine)
- The Petroleum Directorate monitors offshore oil installations in the Norwegian sector
- The Civil Aviation Authority monitors civil aviation activities
- The following agencies are responsible for supervision in special areas:
The Directorate for Fire and Electrical Safety - electrical safety and prevention of fire and explosion
The Norwegian Industrial Safety and Security Organisation - industrial safety (companies' own protection against undesirable incidents. Includes fire, accident, personal injury or criminal activity.)
Parties in industry
Important sectors of the working environment are governed by agreements between the two parties in a company, the employee and the employer.
- The Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne)
- The Norwegian Association for small and medium-sized enterprises, has no negotiation rights. (Bedriftsforbundet) (Norwegian language)
- The Confederation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises (HSH)
- The Norwegian Union for Municipal Employees (KFO) (Norwegian language)
- The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO)
- The Norwegian Society of Engineers (NITO)
- The Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO)
- Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS)
- The Norwegian Farmers' Union (Bondelaget)
- Norwegian farmer and small-holders union (Norsk Bonde- og småbrukarlag) (Norwegian language)
- The Norwegian Farmer's Association for occupational health and safety (Landbrukshelsen)
- Work Environment Centre (Arbeidsmiljøsenteret) (Norwegian language)
- Workers' Educational Association of Norway (AOF) (Norwegian language)
There are many research institutes which carries out research into working environment related issues. Our research pages provide a list of those who have carried out the research into the field and institutions that have financed research into the working environment.