HSE and HSE requirements
Good internal controls are about working with a systematic, well-documented and targeted approach to health, safety and environment (HSE). The purpose of good internal controls is to prevent undesirable incidents and ensure a good working environment, low absence due to illness rate, good profitability and minimal emissions/discharges.
Requirement for a systematic approach to HSE
The Regulations relating to Systematic Health, Environmental and Safety Activities in Enterprises (Internal Control Regulations) require the person that is responsible for the enterprise to ensure that HSE is followed up systematically. Work relating to HSE must be carried out in collaboration with the employees and their representatives. The routines must be documented in writing and ensure that problems are detected and dealt with in time.
Who is required to carry out systematic HSE work?
The Internal Control Regulations apply to all activities which are covered by specific laws concerning HSE. You should assume that the requirement for systematic HSE work applies to your enterprise if it produces, sells or offers products or services. The regulations apply to the person who is responsible for the enterprise, workers in public and private sector enterprises.
In the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority's e-learning tool "Arbeidsmiljømodellen" (Working Environment Guide), you will find an overview of key activities, roles and regulations. The guide also gives tips and advice on how to get started on work relating to the working environment. On the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority's website, you can also read more about how to create an HSE system and the various roles in the work relating to HSE.
All enterprises must have written descriptions of:
- The enterprise's HSE targets
- The enterprise's organisation
- The way in which risks are mapped (letters, reports, measurement results, etc.)
- What must be done, when and by whom in order to promote HSE
- Routines for dealing with defects and deficiencies
- How HSE routines are reviewed to ensure that they function as intended
Small enterprises with low-risk activities do not need to prepare comprehensive documentation. The guidance for the Internal Control Regulation provides a good basis for what small enterprises need to do.
HSE obligations towards others than own employees
When more than one enterprise is to perform work on the same site, and no enterprise is a primary contractor, the enterprises must produce a written agreement to identify who is responsible for coordinating the HSE work of the various enterprises. If such an agreement is not produced, the enterprises are required to notify the Labour Inspection Authority. The Labour Inspection Authority will then decide which enterprise they consider to be the primary contractor.
Requirements concerning HSE training (health, safety and environment)
As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that the working environment within your enterprise is safe and appropriate. You must therefore be aware of the requirements that apply, what is needed in order to ensure a good working environment and how a systematic approach to HSE can be ensured within the enterprise. The obligation is carry out training is personal and cannot be delegated. The law does not lay down any requirement concerning the scope of the training, but it is a clear intention that the employer's training must be appropriate for the individual enterprise and its nature, activities, risks and size.
The construction and engineering industry and the cleaning sector are required to provide their employees with HSE cards.
Supervision and assistance with HSE
The Internal Control Regulations are linked to a number of laws and regulations and are administered by several bodies. These organisations carry out checks and inspections to ensure compliance with the regulations:
- The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority regarding the Working Environment Act
- The Directorate for Civil Protection and municipal fire safety authorities regarding the Fire and Explosion Protection Act
- The Directorate for Civil Protection and the Det lokale eltilsyn regarding the Act regarding the supervision of electrical installations and certain aspects of the Product Control Act
- The Norwegian Environment Agency regarding the Pollution Control Act, the Product Control Act and certain aspects of the Gene Technology Act
- The Norwegian Industrial Safety Organisation regarding the Civil Defence Act
- The Norwegian Maritime Authority regarding pleasure craft
- The Directorate of Health regarding the Gene Technology Act
- The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority regarding the Radiation Protection Act and the Pollution Control Act as regards radioactive pollution and radioactive waste
- The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority (supervisory authority for the working environment of aircrew in civil aviation)