OSH system at national level – Norway

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Riitta Sauni, Kirsi Koskela, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health


Occupational safety and health legislative framework

The Norwegian legislation on occupational safety and health is in accordance with the framework Council Directive 89/391/EEC[1] and is based on the Working Environment Act from 1977 (latest amendment in 2017)[2].

The Working Environment Act[3] stipulates that all employees in Norwegian companies must have a satisfactory working environment. The act is applied to all organisations which have employees, except for the fishing fleet and merchant marine. All companies are obligated to adopt a systematic approach to their working environment which is specifically noted in the regulation concerning a systematic approach to health, environment and safety in the workplace (Internal Control Regulations)[4].

The specific Norwegian legislation for occupational health services (OHS) derives partly from work environment legislation and partly from health legislation[5]. Under the OHS Regulation[6], the employer is responsible for having an OHS in place and assessing the competencies of the OHS personnel. The Regulation also describes the types of OHS services and specifies that the OHS should mainly take preventive actions. A separate Regulation specifies which trades and industries are obliged to have an OHS[7]

The National Insurance Act (Folketrygdloven)[8] provides the central national insurance and welfare schemes in Norway. The National Insurance Act stipulates provisions for unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, and benefits related to the course of life and family situations, retirement pension and rules for processing cases.

Main legislative acts:

  • Work Environment Act[9],
  • Internal Control Regulations[10],
  • OHS Regulation[11],
  • National Insurance Act[12],
  • Employment accident and occupational disease benefit[13].


National OSH strategy and programmes

The Government has formulated a White Paper on Joint Responsibility for a Good and Decent Working Life – Working conditions, working environment and safety submitted to the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament, on 26 August 2011[14].

According to the White Paper[15] the government will address challenges and safeguard the Norwegian working life model by following subsequent policy guidelines:

  • Reinforced participation and collaboration;
  • Active implementation of the Inclusive Working Life Agreement (IA Agreement[16]);
  • Making large and medium-large employers more responsible for creating a sound working life;
  • Targeting efforts at different sectors;
  • Reinforcing public supervisory agencies;
  • Improving knowledge about working-life issues;
  • Working on specific health and safety executive (HSE) challenges, such as night work and chemicals;
  • Continuing to direct close attention to social dumping.


Social dialogue

In the Norwegian working life, the tradition for social dialogue in issues concerning working conditions is strong, and is based on legislation and Social dialogue in OSH collective agreements. The social partners emphasise the importance of the activities that take place as part of the tripartite Agreement for an Inclusive Working Life, both at national and company level. Both unions and employer organisations also emphasize the importance of social dialogue over working conditions and company development more generally[17]. A good, inclusive working life is at the heart of the Norwegian welfare state.

Social dialogue at national level

In the social dialogue at a national level the tripartite cooperation is between government and the unions and employer organisations. One agreement guiding the dialogue is the Agreement for an Inclusive Working Life[18]. The first version of this agreement came in effect on 2002, and it has been evaluated and revised several times. The tripartite cooperation for a more inclusive working life aims to help achieve high employment and mobilise the workforce through preventing and reducing sick leave and withdrawal from working life.

The objectives on national level for the period of 2019 – 2022 are the following:

  • Sick leave: The agreement aims for a 10 per cent reduction in sick leave compared to the annual average in 2018. o Several sectors, industries and enterprises have low sick leave rates. In these industries and enterprises, it could be an objective in itself to maintain the low sick leave and focus efforts on preventive working environment measures and reducing withdrawal from work life.  
  • Withdrawal: The agreement aims for a reduction in withdrawal from work life. o Withdrawal is defined as situations in which working people do not return to work after sick leave. These are often people with long-term sickness absence, who start receiving work assessment allowance and then disability benefits, or people who turn to early retirement.

The IA agreement comprises all of Norway’s working life. The workplace is the main arena for IA work. Successful cooperation between the parties is a prerequisite for succeeding with the IA work, and management, employee representatives as well as safety delegates have important roles in this respect. The tripartite Council for Working Life and Pension Policy, under the leadership of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, is responsible for following up the IA agreement at the national level. On an annual basis, the Council must discuss experiences and results achieved, as well as the future strategy and general plans, etc. for the IA work.

Norwegian social partners at national level are:

Name of organisation Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO, Landsorganisasjonen i Norge) [53]
Type of organisation Trade union
Established (year) 1899
Members’ profile All occupations, both in private and public sector
Number of members by March 2020 By December 31th  2019: 952 394
Name of organisation The Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne)[54]
Type of organisation Trade union
Established (year) 1997
Members’ profile Akademikerne is a confederation of professional organizations with members who are highly trained and highly qualified. They include lawyers, engineers, psychologists, researchers, doctors, veterinary surgeons, social scientists, architects, business school graduates, economists, dentists, agronomists and officers in the armed forces.
Number of members by March 2020 Per 01.01.2020 Akademikerne have 13 member organizations, with over 220.005 members.
Name of organisation Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS, Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund) [55]
Type of organisation Trade union
Established (year) 1977
Members’ profile Almost all occupations, in both the public and private sector
Number of members by March 2020 226 000 per 01.01.20
Name of organisation Unio – Confederation of professional unions for employees [56]
Type of organisation Trade union
Established (year) 2001
Members’ profile Unio’s members are university or college educated, and most work in the public sector – in occupations that provide services to young and old citizens in both rural and urban areas.
Number of members by March 2020 Unio has 13 national affiliates which are organized according to profession, with a total of 375 000 members.
Name of organisation Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO, Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon) [57]
Type of organisation Employer’s organisation
Established (year) 1989
Members’ profile Members range from small family-owned businesses to multinational companies in most sectors.
Number of members by March 2020 More than 27 800 businesses, representing 575 000 employees.
Name of organisation The Confederation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises (VIRKE) [58]
Type of organisation Employer’s organisation
Established (year) 1990
Members’ profile Members come from industries such as trade, knowledge, technology, travel, service, health, care, education, culture and voluntary work.
Number of members by March 2020 23 000 businesses, representing more than 250 000 employees.
Name of organisation Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS, Kommunesektorens organisasjon)[59]
Type of organisation Employer’s organisation
Established (year) 1972
Members’ profile All municipalities and counties in Norway
Number of members by March 2020 356 municipalities and 11 counties
Name of organisation Spekter (employers' association) [60]
Type of organisation Employer’s organisation
Established (year) 1993
Members’ profile Large, important companies of public interest, primarily within the health sector, culture and transport/infrastructure.
Number of members by March 2020 Spekter represents a diversity of companies with approximately 200.000 employees.

Social dialogue at sectoral level

The emphasis on the Norwegian social dialogue is on company level agreements and at the national level, rather than at the sectoral level. However, there are some examples of sectoral level co-operative measures between the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO) and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO). These measures include both branch and regional based programmes, as well as projects that only cover a single company. These projects are financed partly through funds allocated by the social partners, and partly by the participating companies themselves. They can cover issues such as working conditions, sickness absence rates, and work organisation and competence development.[19]

Social dialogue at enterprise level

The social dialogue at the company level has a strong tradition in Norway. The traditional enterprise level social dialogue takes place between trade union representatives/shop stewards and the employer[20].

According to the Work Environment Act[21] all businesses must elect a safety delegate who represents the employees in all matters that are relevant to the working environment. Other solutions may be agreed if the company has fewer than 10 employees.

A working environment committee (AMU) must be established in all companies with at least 50 employees and this has to be reported to the local Labour Inspection Authority office. If the company has at least 20 employees and one of the parties so desire, then a working environment committee must be set up. The committee must have equal numbers of members from management and the employees. The working environment committee concerns itself with matters relevant to the occupational environment. The representatives of the occupational health service on the committee have no vote. The working environment committee submits every year a report on its activities to the administrative bodies of the undertaking and to employee organisations.


OSH Infrastructure

OSH Infrastructure scheme

Figure 1: The OSH infrastructure in Norway


Source: Adapted by the authors from figure in NDPHS Expert Group on Social Inclusion, Healthy Lifestyles and Work Ability (SIHLWA): Country Reports on Occupational Safety and Health in the Northern Dimension Area.[22]

National competent bodies

OSH Authorities and inspection services

The leading Norwegian occupational safety and health authority is the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs [23] which is responsible for policy making. The coordination of policies and activities at the national level takes place in ministerial groups at the government level: the ministries in neighbouring sectors coordinate the policymaking.

The Working Environment and Safety Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs[24] is responsible for labour legislation and safety in the working environment in workplaces both on the continental shelf and onshore. The Department coordinates its activities mostly in negotiations with the other ministries and social partners.

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet)[25] is a governmental agency under the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, focused on occupational safety and health. As of 01.01.20, The Labour Inspection Authority consists of a central office – the Directorate with three departments, and six departments dealing with external related issues. The largest of these departments is dedicated to inspections, and consists of 20 local inspection offices throughout the country, to guide and supervise individual enterprises in local communities.

Laws and regulations are the foundation of all the Labour Inspection Authority's activities. Labour Inspection Authority's administrative, supervisory and information responsibilities are in connection with the Working Environment Act[26], the Annual Holidays Act[27], the National Holidays Act and certain sections of the Smoking Act. The Labour Inspection Authority ensures that enterprises comply with the requirements of the Working Environment Act. Supervision is done by internal control audits, verifications/inspections or investigating accidents and is mainly aimed at enterprises with the poorest working conditions. The Labour Inspection Authority works systematically with industries struggling with major working environment problems. In addition to providing advice and guidance according to the Public Administration Act [28], the agency publishes a large amount of online guidelines. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority coordinates partnership with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, which includes responsibility for gathering and communication of data, and disseminating campaigns and other activities initiated from the EU-OSHA. This is done in close cooperation with the tripartite National Focal Point-network [29]. Several different agencies monitor working environment activities in Norwegian workplaces depending on whether they are on shore, off shore or in aviation. These agencies are located under various ministries.

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate[30] monitors the working environment at sea (mercantile marine, fishing and trapping). This sector is regulated in the Ship Labour Act[31] and its associated regulations. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate[32] monitors the working environment in Norwegian offshore oil activity. The Civil Aviation Authority[33] 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 excempted from these regulations. The Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) monitors electrical safety and prevention of fire and explosion[34].

The Norwegian Industrial Safety and Security Organisation (Næringlivets Sikkerhetsorganisasjon)[35] inspects companies required to implement emergency preparedness and prepares guidelines.

Occupational accidents are reported by the employers to the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organization (NAV)[36] and forwarded to the Labour Inspection (Arbeidstilsynet), the Petroleum Safety Authority and other inspecting bodies. According to the Working Environment Law every occupational physician is obliged to report work related disorders to the Labour Inspection and the other inspection Authorities.[37]

OSH Services

Internal OSH services According to the Working Environment Act[38] the employer is responsible for ensuring that the enterprise maintains a healthy and safe working environment. Systematic Health, Environmental and Safety Activities in Enterprises – Internal Control Regulations[39] require enterprises to have written objectives in relation to health, environment and safety activities. The person responsible for the enterprise must ensure that internal control is introduced and performed in the enterprise and that this is done in collaboration with the employees and their representatives. Risk analysis and assessment must be carried out in the workplaces with plans of action. Roles and responsibilities regarding health and safety issues must be clarified.

Health and safety personnel (VHP) provide support to companies in their work in monitoring the working environment and suggestions for better solutions. Certain industries are at a greater risk than others, and are required to have associated health and safety personnel. These industries are specified in a separate regulation[40] and include for example mining, forestry, food production, construction work, transportation, oil, metal, chemical and wood processing, hotels and restaurants. About 40% of OSH services are internal services owned by enterprises, and half are privately owned[41]

External OSH Services Under the OHS Regulation[42], the employer is responsible for having an OHS in place and assessing the competencies of the OHS personnel. The Regulation also describes the types of OHS services and specifies that the OHS should mainly take preventive actions focusing on certain areas such as (1) the assessment of workplace risk, (2) the surveillance of the work environment and the health of the workers, (3) the assessment of work ability, rehabilitation, and workplace adjustment, (4) the education and training of staff, and (5) the prevention and follow-up of work-related disorders. A separate Regulation[43] specifies which trades and industries are obliged to have an OHS.


In 2010, there was a certification scheme inaugurated for occupational health services which included requirements for the number of employees, professional composition and areas of expertise. The certification unit is placed in the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority [61]. Conditions for approval are:

  • Being able to provide a comprehensive and preventive aid in the systematic health, environment and safety;
  • Have a quality assurance system to ensure that occupational health services assist the employer in a satisfactory manner, and ensuring competence of occupational health staff;
  • Have a professional staff that is able to provide consulting in the following areas of expertise: Occupational / occupational health, occupational hygiene, ergonomics, psychosocial and organizational work environment, and systematic SE work:
  • Have a professional staff that covers at least three-years;
  • The individual disciplines (occupational, occupational hygiene, ergonomics and psycho-social – organizational) must be covered with minimum 30 per cent of a man.


In Norway today, there are approximately 300 occupational health service (OHS) units. The units are widely distributed all over the country.[44] Around 60 per cent of all employees in Norway are currently employed in a company that has a duty to provide occupational health services.

A typical OHS unit consists of one each of the following: a physician, a nurse, an ergonomist, and a safety engineer/occupational hygienist. There are specialties within all these areas. Most of the OHS professionals have been through basic training programs, but the amount of training varies extensively. At present, approximately 30% of the occupational physicians are specialists in occupational medicine, while 25% of the occupational hygienists and approximately 10–15% of the occupational nurses and ergonomists are specialists within their own fields.[45]

The average cost of an OHS amounts to €150 per employee per year, a total cost of €150 million per year for the one million workers who have access to an OHS. The amount of services purchased by enterprises varies considerably, from less than € 50 to more than € 1000 per employee per year.[46]

The employers cover all the costs of having an OHS. Even though the OHS, according to the legislation, shall have a free and independent professional role in their work, this role is nowadays being challenged by the fact that OHS have to sell their services in a free market characterized by increasing competition between service providers. The lack of public funding may lead to other types of services which are more focused on what is beneficial for the enterprises versus society.

The OHS providers are mainly profit-based, external services, owned by the OHS employees themselves or private investors. The rest are OHS non-profit-based internal or external OHS services owned by the enterprises.

Evaluation of OHS services

In 2017, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs decided to establish an expert group to review and assess the occupational health service in Norway. The expert group was asked to assess whether the current occupational health service system is functioning as intended; and whether it is a secure and targeted scheme. The expert group was also asked to consider whether the companies' need for assistance in the field of work environment is adequately addressed and if the quality of the services is good enough. Against this background, the expert team was asked to outline and consider different models as alternatives to today's occupational health care system. The expert group was asked, among other things, to propose a simplified and targeted model that is in line with the legislature intention, but with a more efficient use of resources.

The expert group gathered facts and knowledge in the field and looked at experiences in other countries. With the support of international research, the expert group has assessed the most common main models for the organization of OHS schemes related to Norwegian conditions. The main conclusion was that though there is a significant potential for improvement and efficiency, according to the expert group today's occupational health service scheme in Norway appears to be among the best schemes internationally. The expert group suggested  

The final report [62] was handed over to the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in May 2018, and the results are now being processed at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.


Compensation and accident insurance bodies

The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation [47] administers a large proportion of the most important welfare benefits and [International comparison of occupational accident insurance system | social security schemes] in Norwegian society. For example, these may be unemployment benefits, sickness benefit, work assessment allowance, disability pension, and retirement pension on reaching pensionable age.

The employer is responsible for paying [Reporting and monitoring occupational accidents and diseases in Europe |sickness benefit] for the first 16 calendar days of the sick leave. When the employer's period has expired, sickness benefit will be paid by Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organization[47].

The Employer is obligated to insure all his/her workers with occupational accident insurance. The insurance must cover compensations of work accidents and occupational diseases.

Other OSH bodies

Prevention Institutes

There are no specific organisations for preventive actions in Norway, but preventive actions are carried out by all OSH actors.

Professional associations

The core team in OHS consists of a physician, a nurse, a physiotherapist and an occupational hygienist. They all have their own professional associations which are described in this chapter.

Association for Occupational Physicians (Norsk arbeidsmedisinsk forening)[48] The occupational physicians are a subdivision of the National Association for Physicians. The Association for Occupational Physicians, for example, publishes a newsletter "Ramazzini", and provides the latest news on the occupational health research to its members.

Association for Occupational nurses (Norsk sykepleierforbund)[49]. The Association for Occupational nurses aims to influence nursing education in accordance with the needs of the nursing service, develop the nursing service and the nursing profession in accordance with public needs for nursing, facilitate and contribute to the development of nurses’ professional competencies, further the development of high ethical professional standards among nurses and safeguard the organisational, professional, pay, competence-building and socioeconomic interests of nurses.

Association for Occupational physiotherapist (Norsk fysioterapeutforbund; NFF)[50]. The Association aims to encourage professional development and research in physical therapy and co-operates internationally to support these aims. NFF helps to ensure that its members provide a wide range of physical therapy services with good quality and high ethical standards. In addition, the NFF aims to have to ensure that the national training programmes on this field meets the future needs for physical therapy skills in Norway.

Norwegian Occupational Hygiene Association (Norsk yrkeshygienisk forening; NYF)[51]. Norwegian Association of Occupational Hygienists (NYF) is a professional forum for people who work with occupational health issues. NYF has defined "exposure" as: "Identification and mapping of chemical, physical and biological environmental factors, and assessment of risk to health and proposals for preventive measures." The title or the term "Occupational Hygienist" is used about a person who works with exposure issues. The title is not protected and therefore can be used by anyone.

Education, training and awareness raising

Legally required training for OSH specialists

The Regulation on Safety and Health Personnel defines the requirements for the qualifications and tasks of the OSH personnel[52]. The Act applies as well to internal as external safety and health personnel. Health and safety personnel can be safety officers, occupational hygienists, safety engineers, psychologists, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, etc. The competence and qualifications need to be evaluated in terms of the special needs of the work place. It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure the competence.

The basic training and most of the advanced training is arranged by the Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH/STAMI). In addition, some training is carried out by professional associations and the universities [36]. Most OSH service personnel have been through basic training programmes, but the amount of training varies extensively. At present, 30-40% of occupational physicians are specialists in occupational medicine, and 25% of the hygienists and 10-15% of the occupational nurses and ergonomists are specialists within their fields.[53]

Occupational physician: To become an occupational physician in Norway requires 5 years of practice. At least 1 year must be spent in an occupational health service (internal and external), and 1 year in a specialized institution like Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI). There are 2 years (120 hours) of supervision in groups, everyone have to write a dissertation and there are 300 hours of course that has to be completed. The occupational health physicians in Norway usually do a minimum course in curative treatment, with the emphasis being on primary or secondary prevention.

Occupational health nurse: The speciality requires 5 years of work experience, 120 hours of supervision, 150 hours of course and a written paper.

Ergonomists: For ergonomists there is a speciality in health/environment and work related health. It requires 4 months of practice and 40 hours of supervision (individually and in groups), and a 24 hours web-based course.

In addition, organizational psychologist is thought as advanced special studies at the Norwegian universities. For occupational hygienists, there is a national certification programme with three different exam/ skills levels. Passing the national programme, will provide the person with the right to use the title "certified occupational hygienist" [51].


Other vocational training

The AOF Norway Study Association [54] was established in 1931 and is today a large, nationwide study association focusing on adult education and continuing education. AOF is a member of the International Organization for Knowledge and Education (IFWEA). AOF offers training and education with a main focus on basic competence, language, HSE, upper secondary education, vocational school and some types of college education. In addition, they have training assignments for their member organizations. AOF has a broad cooperation with companies, the social partners and public authorities responsible for the field of education.


The basic training, and much of the advanced training of the OSH personnel is managed by the Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI). In addition, some training is carried out by professional associations and the universities. The training programmes are being developed to meet the needs of modern working life, with focus on factual knowledge, process understanding and skills.

Awareness raising networks

The Norwegians have a number of national programmes to raise awareness on work life issues, and in addition participate in a number of international awareness campaigns. For example, a governmental programme “Inclusive Work Life” has been implemented. Its goals have been agreed jointly by the government and social partners [55], and it aims to stimulate public discussion on current issues and to find solutions in working life in general.

Specialized technical, medical and scientific institutions

Research Institutes

In addition to two national state-owned institutes, there are several other research institutes that are engaged in investigating a healthy work and better working environment in Norway. They are shortly described below.


1. The National Institute of Occupational Health (Statens arbeidsmiljøinstitutt, STAMI)[56]


STAMI is a research institute funded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and work for facilitating a good working environment; for preventing illness and for promoting good health.

The aim of the institute is to promote knowledge and find relations between work, illness and health, to evaluate risk factors and to offer preventive measures where needed, and finally to promote knowledge of the relations between work and health known in Norway.

STAMI has over 100 employees who create, use and promote knowledge on occupational health. Their interdisciplinary research environment consists of people with various professional backgrounds, such as medicine, physiology, chemistry, biology, psychology among others.

Annually, STAMI is involved in well over 60 research projects. These projects can  for example be long-term pure research-projects and sub-projects, or shorter projects with a more practical base.

The institute is working with all partners in the Norwegian working life.

They are surveying environmental and health issues, evaluating elements of risks, and proposing preventive measures at the work place. They also run an occupational health clinic, examining patients with possible work related ill health.


2. Work Research Institute (Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet, AFI)[57]

The Work Research Institute receives basic funding from the Research Council of Norway, and the income also derives from the private sector (the process industry, food industry, media corporations and branch unions), government funds, directorates and municipalities, as well as from foreign enterprises and organizations. Moreover, the Institute receives grant funding from the Research Council of Norway, the EU and the Nordic Council of Ministers. AFI is an interdisciplinary research institute. The main emphasis is on sociology, psychology and anthropology, but the Institute also employs researchers with degrees from various other fields, such as medicine, philosophy, history, journalism and economics. Most of their researchers have a PhD-degree or hold associate professorships. After several decades as an independent research institute, AFI became part of what is now Oslo Metropolitan University in 2014.


AFI performs action-oriented, multidisciplinary research and aims to produce systematic knowledge on working life. The institute is especially concerned with forms of organization and leadership which promote the collective ability to learn, cooperate and adapt, and thereby create a better working environment. The institute emphasizes the importance of broad, action-oriented research programmes based on the needs of working life. These programmes are formed in close collaboration with Norwegian business and industry, both in the public and private sector, as well as with national and international research institutions. AFI also carries out short-term projects for organizations, companies, government agencies and other public bodies.


3. Research Group for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Bergen

The Research Group of Occupational and Environmental Medicine works on a wide area of topics in their research, and it cooperates with governmental organizations, enterprises, employee and employers organizations and research councils on projects.[58]


4. Institute for Labour and Social Research (Institutt for arbeidslivs- og velferdsforskning, FAFO).

Fafo is an independent and multidisciplinary research foundation working both in Norway and internationally. The Institute focuses on labour and living conditions, social welfare and trade policy, public health, migration and integration, and transnational security and development issues.[59]


5. SINTEF - applied research, technology and innovation

SINTEF is the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia comprising of the SINTEF Foundation, four limited companies and SINTEF Holding. However, SINTEF is an independent, non-commercial organisation; the profits of the contract research projects are invested in new research, scientific equipment and competence development. SINTEF carries out a broadly based, multidisciplinary research and possesses international top-level expertise in technology, medicine and the social sciences. It operates in partnership with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, and collaborates with the University of Oslo. Furthermore, SINTEF has many different subunits including for example materials and chemistry, building and infrastructure, energy research, petroleum research, technology and society.[60]


6. Work Environment Centre (Arbeidsmiljøsenteret).

The Working Environment Centre is a key contributor to the development of safe and efficient work in Norway. The social partners and the state are important supporters. It is built up as a membership organization, with approximately 700 companies, corporations, public entities and organizations as members.[61] The Working Centres offer basic training in working for safety representatives, courses for employers, training of safety advisers for both onshore and offshore, consulting and training on psychosocial work environment and about bullying in the workplace, among other things.

Standardization bodies

Standards Norway (Standard Norge, SN) is the main standards organization of Norway. It claims responsibility for all standardization areas except for electrotechnical and telecommunication issues. Standards Norway represents the country of Norway in CEN and ISO.[62]


Institutions and organisations

Table 1: Main Norwegian actors in the OSH field
Federal OSH authorities and inspection services Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs [63]
The Working Environment and Safety Department of the Ministry of Labour [64]
The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet) [65]
The Norwegian Industrial Safety and Security Organisation (Næringlivets Sikkerhetsorganisasjon) [66]
Key social partners in OSH field Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO, Landsorganisasjonen i Norge) [67]
The Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne) [68]
Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS, Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund) [69]
Unio – Confederation of professional unions for employees [70]
Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO, Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon) [71]
The Confederation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises (VIRKE) [72]
Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS, Kommunesektorens organisasjon) [73]
Spekter (employers' association) [74]
Key compensation and insurance bodies The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation [75]
Key professional associations Association for Occupational physician (Norsk Arbeidsmedisinsk forening) [76] (in Norwegian)
Association for Occupational nurses (Norsk sykepleierforbund) [77]
Association for Occupational physiotherapist (Norsk fysioterapeutforbund) [78](in Norweigian)
Norwegian Occupational Hygiene Association (Norsk yrkeshygienisk forening) [79](in Norwegian)
Key research institutes The National Institute of Occupational Health (Statens arbeidsmiljøinstitutt, STAMI) [80]
Work Research Institute (Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet, AFI) [81]
Research Group for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Bergen [82]
Institute for Labour and Social Research (Institutt for arbeidslivs- og velferdsforskning, FAFO) [83]
SINTEF [84]
Work Environment Centre (Arbeidsmiljøsenteret) [85]
Key standardization organisation Standards Norway (Standard Norge, SN) [86]


Source: Overview by the authors


References

  1. Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, OJ L 183, 29/06/1989 P. 0001 - 0008. Available at: 8http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31989L0391:en:HTML]
  2. Working Environment Act. Available at: [1]
  3. Working Environment Act. Available at: [2]
  4. Regulations relating to systematic health, environmental and safety activities in enterprises (Internal Control Regulations). Available at: [3]
  5. Lie A. A new development for occupational health services in Norway. Scand J Work and Environmental Health Supplements 2009;(7):48-52
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  7. FOR 2009-02-11 nr 162: Forskrift om at virksomheter innen visse bransjer skal ha godkjent bedriftshelsetjeneste. Available at: [5]
  8. The National Insurance Act (Folketrygdloven). Available at: [6]
  9. Working Environment Act. Available at: [7]
  10. Regulations relating to systematic health, environmental and safety activities in enterprises (Internal Control Regulations). Available at: [8]
  11. Forskrift om administrative ordninger på arbeidsmiljølovens område (forskrift om administrative ordninger). Available at: [9]
  12. The National Insurance Act (Folketrygdloven). Available at: [10]
  13. Act relating to occupational injury Insurance (Lov om yrkesskadeforsikring). Available at: [11]
  14. White Paper on Joint responsibility for a good and decent working life - Working conditions, working environment and safety. Available at: [12]. Full version in Norwegian: [13]
  15. White Paper on Joint responsibility for a good and decent working life - Working conditions, working environment and safety. Available at: [14]. Full version in Norwegian: [15]
  16. The Letter of Intent regarding a more inclusive working life (the IA Agreement). Available from: [16]
  17. Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet: Trepartssamarbeid på arbeidsmiljø- og tryggleiksområdet. (Norwegian only.) Available from: [17]
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  44. Lie A. A new development for occupational health services in Norway. Scand J Work and Environmental Health Supplements 2009;(7):48-52
  45. Lie A. A new development for occupational health services in Norway. Scand J Work and Environmental Health Supplements 2009;(7):48-52
  46. Lie A. A new development for occupational health services in Norway. Scand J Work and Environmental Health Supplements 2009;(7):48-52
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  53. Lie A. A new development for occupational health services in Norway. Scand J Work and Environmental Health Supplements 2009;(7):48-52
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Links for future reading

National Institute of Occupational Health (no publishing date), National Surveillance System for Work Environment and Occupational Health; NOA). Retrieved on 9 October 2012, from: [87]

University of Stavanger (23.03.2011), Zero Vision, Zero Results. Retrieved on 9 October 2012, from: [88]

Snorre S., Safety Barriers on Oil and Gas Platforms – Means to Prevent Hydrocarbon Releases. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, December 2005. Available at: [89]