Course material for The construction industry

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    General HSE course for "Byggebransjen"

    This course will give a general introduction to the laws and is based on The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authorities (Arbeidstilsynet) recommendations for training in health, environment and safety work (HMS opplæring)..

    The course material also give references to sources for more information. Follow the links in the document for more information on the topics.

    It is also recommended to download and read the following PDF documents:

    Useful online resources for foreign workers

    Here are a few links to online resources which are useful to understand the work environment in Norway. This is recommended reading and will also help you pass this course.

    Working Environment Act

    • The purpose of the Working Environment Act is
      • to secure a working environment that provides a basis for a healthy and meaningful working situation,
      • to ensure sound conditions of employment and equality of treatment at work
      • to facilitate adaptations of the individual employee’s working situation in relation to his or her capabilities and circumstances of life ,
      • to provide a basis whereby the employer and the employees of undertakings may themselves safeguard and develop their working environment,
      • to foster inclusive working conditions
    • The scope of the Act :
      • apply to all undertakings that engage employees
      • Exceptions from the act: shipping, hunting and fishing
    • The Act has a number of regulations:
    • The employer shall ensure that the provisions laid down in the Act are complied with.

    Duties of the employer:

    • The employer's obligations: § 2-1 § 2-2
    • It is employers responsibility to ensure that the Act are complied with:
      • The employer shall ensure that the provisions laid down in and pursuant to this Act are complied with.
    • The shall undergo training in health, enviroment and safey work. § 3.5
    • The employer is also responsible the undertaking is arranged in such a manner that persons other than his own employees (hired workers) are also ensured a sound working enviroment.
    • List of some of the duties of the employer is found in § 3-1 (Requirements regarding systematic health, environment and safety work) and § 3-2 (Special safety precautions). The law also contains other demands of the employer.

    Employees duties

    • Employees shall actively cooperate in the undertakings health, environment and safety work.
    • Employees duties: § 2-3 § 2-4
      • use the prescribed protective equipment and contribute to prevention of accidents.
      • immediately notify becoming aware of faults or defects at the workplace.
      • interrupt work if the employees consider that it cannot continue without involving danger to life or health,
      • notify the employer if aware of harassment or discrimination at the workplace,
      • notify the employer if suffering injury or contracting injury as a result of work conditions.
      • Cooperate on implementation of follow-up plans in connection with sick leave
      • Participate in dialogue meetings with the employer
      • Obey instructions issued by the Labour Inspection Authority.
    • Employees charged with directing or supervising other employees shall ensure that the Work Environment Act is taken into consideration under their areas of responsibility.
    • An employee has a right to notify concerning censurable conditions at the undertaking. It's illegal to retaliate employers in connection with notification.
    • The employer shall ensure that employees charged with directing or supervising other employees have the necessary competence to ensure that the work is performed in a proper manner with regard to health and safety. § 3-2

    Working environment measures

    Working Enviroment Act puts requirments on he underaking in regards of Health, environment and saftey work (Chapter 3)

    • The employer shall ensure that the HSE work carried out in a systematic manner.
    • The employer shall
      • Establish goals for health, environment and safety work.
      • Have an overall view of the undertakings organization, responsibilities and tasks.
      • Make a survey of problems and hazards
      • Implement routines in order to in comply with the requirements of the Act,
      • ensure systematic prevention and follow-up of absence due to sickness,
      • ensure continuous control of the working environment
      • conduct systematic supervision of the work on health, environment and safety in the undertaking
    • There is an own set of rules for the Occupational health services
    • The employer is obliged to provide occupational health services for the undertaking when so necessitated by risk factors in the undertaking. § 3.3

    Requirements regarding the working environment

    • General requirements regarding the working environment: § 4-1
      • The working environment in the undertaking shall be fully satisfactory
      • Adjusted to prevent injuries and disease
      • The undertaking shall be arranged for employees of both sexes
      • to the extent possible and reasonable be designed and arranged so that employees with disabilities can work at the undertaking
    • The employees and their elected representatives shall be kept continuously informed of systems used in the undertaking. § 4-2
    • The physical working environment:
      • shall be fully satisfactory with regards to the employees health, environment, safety and welfare
      • shall be equipped and arranged in such a way as to avoid adverse physical strain on the employees
      • Machines shall be designed and provided with safety devices so that employees are protected against injuries
    • Chemical and biological health hazards shall be handled  fully satisfactory with regard to the employees health, environment, safety and welfare. § 4-4 § 4-5
    • The employer shall, as far as possible, implement necessary measures for employees who suffers reduced working capacity. § 4-6
    • The employer shall assess measures to promote physical activity among the employees. § 3-4

    Basics of working environment

    • Psychosocial working environment
      • The work shall be arranged so as to preserve the employees' integrity, dignity and social contact. § 4-3
    • Noise, unwanted sound
      • Annoying noise, such as ventilation, computer fans etc.
      • Harmful noise from loud surroundings > 80dB (A) and sharp noises < 130 dB (C)
    • When satisfactory precautions to protect life and health cannot be achieved by other means, the employer shall ensure that satisfactory personal protective equipment is made available to the employees.

    Registration

    • The employer shall ensure to record work-related injuries and diseases. § 5-1
      • The records shall be accessible to the Labour Inspection Authority, safety representatives, occupational health services and the working environment committee
      • The records must not contain information of a personal nature without the consent of the person to whom the information applies

    Notification obligation in case of accidents

    • The employer shall immediately and by the quickest possible means notify the Labour Inspection Authority and the nearest police authority in case of accidents. § 5-2
      • The Labour Inspection Authority phone number: 73 19 97 00 (option 3). Notify after working hours.
      • Notify Labour Inspection Authority tips.arbeidstilsynet.no
      • "serious injury" includes all kinds of injury, both physical and mentally, which leads to permanent or long time inability to work.
      • In case of an employee being injured or diseased in a way which can give claim to occupational injury coverage the employer is obliged to send a claim advice to NAV.

    Safety representatives (Verneombud)

    • All undertakings are obliged to elect safety representatives. At undertakings with less than ten employees, the parties may agree in writing upon a different arrangement or agree that the undertaking shall not have a safety representative.
    • The employer shall ensure that safety representatives receive the necessary training. This involves the employer being responsible for training costs and the safety representatives being allowed the time necessary for courses.
    • For larger businesses should normally be a safety representative per shift team.
    • The safety representative's tasks: § 6-2
    • The safety representative shall in particular ensure:
      • that employees are not exposed to hazards from machines, technical installations, chemical substances and work processes
      • that safety devices and personal protective equipment are provided in adequate numbers, that they are readily accessible and in proper condition
      • that the employees receive the necessary instruction, practice and training
      • that work is otherwise arranged in such a way that the employees can perform the work in a proper manner with regard to health and safety,
      • that notifications concerning occupational accidents, etc. are made, pursuant to section 5-2.

    Working environment committee

    • Undertakings which regularly employ at least 50 employees shall have a working environment committee
    • Working environment committees shall also be formed in undertakings with between 20 and 50 employees when so required by any of the parties at the undertaking
    • The working environment committee shall make efforts to establish a fully satisfactory working environment in the undertaking
    • About working environment committee tasks: § 7-2
      • questions relating to the occupational health service and the internal safety service,
      • questions relating to training, instruction and information activities in the undertaking that are of significance for the working environment
      • plans that require the consent of the Labour Inspection Authority pursuant to section 18-9
      • other plans that may be of material significance for the working environment, such as plans for construction work, purchase of machines, rationalisation, work processes, and preventive safety measures
      • establishment and maintenance of the undertakings systematic health, environment and safety work, cf. section 3-1
      • health and welfare issues related to working-hour arrangements.

    Occupational Health Services

    • The employer is obliged to provide occupational health services for the undertaking when so necessitated by risk factors in the undertaking. § 3-3
    • The assessment of whether such an obligation exists shall be made as part of the implementation of the systematic health, environment and safety measures.

    Information and consultation

    In undertakings that regularly employ at least 50 employees, the employer shall provide information concerning issues of importance for the employees' working conditions and discuss such issues with the employees' elected representatives. § 8-1

    • Information obligation regarding
      • The undertakings activities and economic situation
      • Workforce situation
      • Current and expected situation on workforce situation and organization of work .

    Internal control measures

    • There is regulations to employers implementation of control measures, both for how and when. See § 9-1 and § 9-2
    • Employers' right of access to employees' e-mail, etc. is regulated by regulations issued pursuant to section 3, fourth paragraph, first sentence of the Personal Data Act
    • Information about the health of (potential) workers is regulated. § 9-3

    Working Hours

    • Working hours means "the time the employee is at the disposal of the employer".
    • working hours arrangements is regulated by The Working Environment Act, section 10. § 10-1
    • Normal working hours must not exceed nine hours per 24 hours and 40 hours per seven days. There are exceptions. § 10-4

    Overtime

    • all work exceeding the limit prescribed by the Act for normal working hours, the time in excess, is regarded as overtime
    • Work in excess of agreed working hours must not take place except in cases when there is an exceptional and time-limited need for it.
    • Overtime work must not exceed ten hours per seven days, 25 hours per four consecutive weeks or 200 hours during a period of 52 weeks.
    • There are some exceptions: § 10-6

    Breaks and off-duty time

    • Regulations of off-duty time: § 10-8
    • Breaks:
      • at least one break if the daily working hours exceed five hours and 30 minutes
      • The breaks shall collectively amount to at least 30 minutes if the daily working hours total at least eight hours
    • Weekend and night work: § 10-10
      • Work between the hours of 9.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. is night work
      • No work shall be performed from 6.00 p.m. on the day preceding a Sunday or public holiday until 10.00 p.m. on the day preceding the next working day.
    • Employment of children and young persons: § 11-1
      • Children under 15 years of shall not perform work subject to this Act
      • Exceptions:
        • cultural work or the like
        • light work provided the child is 13 years of age or more
        • work that forms part of their schooling or practical vocational guidance approved by the school authorities provided the child is 14 years of age or more
        • work must not be detrimental to schooling
    • Section § 10-12 defines a number of exceptions for special circumstances.

    Leave of abscence

    • Pregnancy leave: § 12-5
      • A pregnant employee is entitled to leave of absence for up to twelve weeks during pregnancy. In connection with childbirth, the father is entitled to two weeks' leave of absence
      • After giving birth, the mother shall have leave of absence for the first six weeks
      • Parents shall be entitled to leave of absence for a total of 12 months.
      • For more information, og to nav.no
    • Leave of absence due to sick child
      • Employees are entitled to leave of absence when they need to attend a sick child in their care. § 12-9
    • An employee shall be entitled to a maximum of 10 days leave of absence per calendar year or a maximum of 15 days if the employee has two or more children in his or her care
    • An employee who has sole responsibility for the care of a child shall be entitled to twice the number of days of leave
    • Education:
      • An employee who has worked for the same employer for the last two years shall be entitled to full or partial leave for up to three years in order to attend organized courses of education
    • Military service
      • An employee shall be entitled to leave of absence in connection with compulsory or voluntary military service or similar national service. An employee who wishes to continue his or her employment after completion of such service shall notify the employer before commencing the service. § 12-12

    Systematic Health, environmental and safety work

    • Through requirements as to the regard of systematic implementation of measures, the Internal Control Regulations shall promote efforts to improve conditions in enterprises in regard to:
      • The working environment and safety
      • Prevention of damage to health or disturbances to the environment from product or consumer services
      • Protection of the external environment against pollution and improved treatment of waste.
    • The person responsible for the enterprise is responsible for ensuring that the internal control is introduced and performed in the enterprise.
    • There are documentation requirements. The following must be documented in writing:
      • establish health, environmental and safety objectives
      • have an overview of the enterprise's organizational set-up, including allocation of responsibilities, duties and authority in regard to the work on health, the environment and safety
      • identify dangers and problems and against this background assess risks; draw up appurtenant plans and measures to reduce such risks
      • implement routines to uncover, rectify and prevent breaches of requirements established in or pursuant to the health, environmental and safety legislation
      • carry out systematic surveillance and reviews of the internal control system to ensure that it functions as intended
    • As part of the course from us you get a complete system for internal control.
    • A well functioning and systematic HMS-work contributes to the undertakings profitability and reputation. HMS-work is important for creating a beneficial working environment for each employee and for the undertaking to achieve its goals.

    Working environment factors, work relations and an inclusive occupational life

    • Employer and employees should ensure that the psychosocial and physical working environment is regularly measured and evaluated as a part of the internal control routines.
    • "Inclusive Workplace" (IA) is an agreement with the purpose of making it possible to work for anyone with the will and ability. Read with the IA on nav.no
    • In the document describing the national strategical plan for work and mental health (2007-2012) it's taken particular measures for people with problems and disorders related to mental health. Read more on nav.no

    Regulations in relation to specific branches of trade

    Below is a link to arbeidsmiljoportalen.no pages for the industry "Byggebransjen". This page summarizes the key requirements of your industry.

    We'll also provide you with a pdf of this summary when the course is passed.

    Regulations

    From 1.1.2013 apply these regulations

    1. Regulations on organization, management and participation
    2. Regulations concerning the design and organization of workplaces and work premises (workplace regulations)
    3. Regulations on execution of work, use of work equipment and associated technical requirements
    4. Regulations on measures and limit values for physical and chemical factors in the work environment and infection risk groups for biological agents
    5. Regulations relating to construction, design and manufacture of technical devices that are not covered by the regulations on machines
    6. Regulations on administrative arrangements on Labour Inspection area

    A complete list of key regulations

    Changes from 1 July 2015:

    • Temporary employment
      • Temporary employment can have a duration up to one year
    • Age Limits
      • AML have an age limit of 72 years
      • For the undertakings internal age limit, it's increased to 70 years.
    • Flexible working hours
      • Hours outside the regular workinghours are not automatically treated as overtime, but can in more quite times give increased spear time.
    • Layoff
      • Employees obligation to pay salary is reduced from 20 to 10 days
      • The time for unemployment benefits is increased from 26 to 30 weeks

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