Working safety in Norway

HMS – Health, Environment and Safety
Emergency and Other Important Telephone Numbers

– 110
– Fire
– 112
– Police
– 113
– Ambulance and medical assistance
– 120 – Sea Rescue Service
– 1412 – Text telephone service for people who are deaf or have impaired hearing
– 22 59 13 00 – Poison information
– 07352 – Emergency clinic
– 815 20 077 – Advisory Office for Victims of Crime (nationwide) Advisory Office for Victims of Crime

Cards and Permits
ID Card on Construction and Installation Sites (ID Card)
All companies working on construction and installation sites are obliged to issue ID cards to their employees.

Hot Work Safety Certificate
An approved theoretical course entitles you to a certificate that is valid in the whole of Norway for a period of five years. The certificate must be renewed after this pe-riod. Certifying organisation is the Norwegian Fire Protection Association. What is hot work? All work that uses open fire, heating or equipment that generates sparks. Typical examples include welding, cutting, striking, soldering and grinding equipment, roof covering using open flame or hot tools.

First Aid
Norwegian basic course in first aid, refreshment course and cardiopulmonary re-suscitation (CPR) course.

Work Coordination
When there are several employers working on the same site, these must coordinate their work. The developer is responsible for coordinating safety work by preparing a safety, health and working environment plan (SHA plan) and for ensuring its follow-up in the implementation stage. Each company/employer is responsible for the safe performance of all work tasks.
Each employer must take care of its own operations and own employees and for ensuring that their work is done in such a way as to ensure that its own and other employees are not exposed to any hazards. The SHA plan must be of assistance for getting a detailed overview of where and when the different work should be done and how much time is devoted to individual work tasks.

Protective Equipment
The employer is responsible for drawing up routines for storage, maintenance, re-pairs and replacement of personal protective equipment, for keeping the personal protective equipment in a good hygienic condition as well as for providing all necessary training.
Protective equipment:
– Working clothes
– Fall protection equipment
– Gloves
– Protective helmet
– Hearing protection
– Goggles and face shield
– Safety shoes
– Respiratory protection

Scaffolding and Ladders
All employers must ensure that scaffolding and ladders placed at the employee's disposal are suitable for the job and suited to the work operations and employees. The scaffolding must have the strength and stability required for all of its users. The scaffolding must be inspected before it is put it into operation, after rough weather and after it has been out of operation for one or more than one week. Inspections of scaffolding which is more than five metres tall must be followed by a report. Ladders should preferably be used for access. A ladder may only be used as a work platform if it is the only and safest work equipment suitable for doing short-term work.

Occupational Safety and Health and Systematic Health, Envi-ronmental, and Safety (HMS) Work
Company occupational health service
Companies in certain industries are obliged to have an approved occupational health service. Where so dictated by the conditions of risk at the company, employ-ers in other industries must sign an agreement with an approved occupational health service. Risk conditions must be assessed as an element in the performance of the systematic health, environmental and safety work.

Additional Information for the Construction Industry
Companies working with construction of buildings and specialised construction and installation work are obliged to sign an agreement with an occupational health service that is approved by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. Section 13-1 of the Norwegian Regulations concerning Organisation, Management and Cooperation give a full overview of the industries subject to the above provision.

Safety Representative
The safety representative is the employees' representative in health, environmental and safety issues and the person who should take care of their interests in cases concerning occupational safety and health. As a rule, all companies should have a safety representative, but if there are fewer than ten employees in the organisation, the parties may adopt a different scheme in writing. The safety representative is elected by and among the employees for a period of two years at a time.

Main Safety Representative
Companies with more than one safety representative must appoint a main safety representative. The main safety representative's primary task is to coordinate the work of the safety representatives. If there is doubt as to which safety representa-tive a case belongs to, this is decided by the main safety representative.

Working Environment Committee (AMU)
A working environment committee (AMU) must be established in all companies with at least 50 employees. There must also be AMUs in companies with between 20 and 50 employees, if so required by one of the parties at the company.
The committee should consist of just as many representatives of the employer and the employees. The safety representative (or main safety representative if there is more than one safety representative) must be a member of AMU.
Where the company has signed an agreement with safety and health personnel in the form of a company occupational health service (BHT), this personnel must be represented in AMU. Their role must be an advisory one, and they will not have any voting rights in the committee.

The Carpentry and Construction Union
– to organise everyone working in the field of operation of the union, irrespective of new working methods and former professions;
– to promote and protect its members' financial, social and political interests;
– to promote professional/political responsibility for HMS;
– to contribute to raising members' social importance through professional and general political activity and schooling;
– to promote professional competence, knowledge and general awareness.

The employer is obliged to take out industrial injury insurance for all employees and notify all cases of injuries or diseases caused by work. The obligation is provided for in the Norwegian Act relating to Industrial Injury Insurance (the state does not have its own scheme).