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Working environment regulations

A total of 47 regulations issued under Norway’s Working Environment Act were replaced by just six on 1 January 2013, requiring a new way of searching these provisions.

Photo from offshore environment

This change is intended to provide a simpler overview of rights and duties under the Act by consolidating regulations which deal with the same conditions.

Although the structure of the regulations is new, their requirements remain by and large unchanged.

Also apply to the petroleum sector
A number of the regulations consolidated into the reduced set also applied to the petroleum sector – either directly or through incorporation in the health, safety and environmental regulations. Some were also used as norms in the guidelines for the latter.

The new regulations basically apply to petroleum operations on the Norwegian continental shelf as well as to activities at the land-based plants.

To ensure that the content of current legal enactments for the petroleum industry is maintained after the change, certain restrictions/clarifications have been incorporated in both working environment and HSE regulations. This ensures overall coherence in the regulatory regime.

Provisions on the working environment must be complied with as an integrated part of the requirements in the overall HSE regulations for the petroleum industry.

The following working environment regulations came into force on 1 January 2013

Regulations relating to organisation, management and participation (in Norwegian only)

Regulations relating to the design and layout of workplaces and work premises (the workplace regulations) (in Norwegian only)

Regulations relating to administrative arrangements in the area covered by the Working Environment Act (regulations relating to administrative arrangements) (in Norwegian only)

Regulations relating to abatement and threshold values for physical and chemical factors in the working environment, plus groups at risk of infection from biological factors (regulations relating to abatement and threshold values) (in Norwegian only)

Regulations relating to the conduct of work, use of work equipment and associated technical requirements (regulations relating to conduct of work) (in Norwegian only)

Regulations relating to construction, design and production of work equipment not covered by the machinery regulations (the producer regulations) (in Norwegian only)

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has prepared guidelines (in Norwegian only) on the application of the new regulations.

It has also issued a guide (in Norwegian only) showing where the requirements in former regulations can found in the new version.