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§ 13 Facilitating employee participation

The responsible party shall ensure that the employees and their elected representatives are given the opportunity to participate in matters of importance for the working environment and safety in the petroleum activities, according to requirements stipulated by and pursuant to the Working Environment Act and these regulations. Such participation shall be ensured in all the various phases of the activities.
In order to further the interests of health, safety and the environment, the employees and their elected representatives shall be ensured the opportunity to participate in the establishment, follow-up and further development of management systems, as mentioned in Section 17 of these regulations.
The party subject to an administrative decision shall ensure that the employees' elected representatives are informed of these decisions.
Section last changed: 01 January 2011

The purpose of employee participation is e.g. to utilise the employees' collective knowledge and experience to ensure that matters are sufficiently explored before decisions are made that concern health, safety and the environment, and to provide the employees with the opportunity to exert influence on their own work situation.

The right to participate - this section. The duty to participate - see Sections 7 and 17
This provision concerns the employees' right to participate. The employees' duties are mentioned in the general obligated party provision, Section 7. The employees have a further responsibility to participate as regards management systems, which follows from Section 17.

Relationship to the supplementary regulations
The employees' right to participate applies to matters of significance for the working environment and safety according to requirements stated in and in pursuance of the Working Environment Act and these regulations. This also means requirements stated in the supplementary regulations. The right to participate is normally not repeated in the supplementary regulations.

Actual participation
The provision entails that the employees are provided with an actual opportunity to influence the working environment and safety in the activities. An actual opportunity means that the employees are involved sufficiently early in the decision process for their input to amount to part of the basis for making decisions.
The employee representatives are elected by the employees, see next paragraph regarding employee representatives.
The requirement for employee participation also entails a duty for the employer to ensure that employees have sufficient knowledge and skills, and that they have the necessary time needed to perform their tasks, cf. Section 3-2, first subsection litera a and Section 6-5, first and second subsections of the Working Environment Act, and Section 7-4. The employees shall receive training in the management system and results from system audits of this shall be communicated to them, cf. Section 4-2, first subsection of the Working Environment Act. The employer shall ensure that the safety delegates receive access to the regulations that apply to the activities so that they can fulfil their obligations pursuant to Section 6-2 of the Working Environment Act. This also includes all relevant framework documents that complement the regulations, e.g. standards.
The employees' right to participate in authority supervision is evident from Section 6-2, seventh subsection of the Working Environment Act.

Employee representatives
Employee representatives can be both safety delegates, trade union representatives or other representatives elected by the employees.
The provision does not change the system that follows from the Working Environment Act for involvement of the employees and their representatives, including who to involve in various cases. Which employee representatives should be involved will depend on the character of the matter, which phase of the activities it regards and who will be affected by the relevant matter. This can be the employees' representatives in working environment committees, coordinating working environment committees, joint local working environment committees, works councils, main safety delegates, safety delegates, the employees' organisations and trade union representatives, depending on the individual matter. The provisions in the Working Environment Act or regulations under it can also be directed towards special employee representatives. It can be natural for the elected employee representatives to involve affected employees or employees with especially relevant competence in handling the matter. These will possibly be in addition to the user representatives designated by the employer. User representatives can be representatives designated by the employer in accordance with Section 11 of the Management Regulations, cf. the guidelines of that section. The parties should agree which matters shall be handled in working environment committees, works councils and any other committees, in the event this is not evident from the Working Environment Act with regulations or the basic agreement. In connection with larger organisational changes, the organisation of employee participation should be evaluated and adapted.

Participation in all phases of the activities
The first subsection entails e.g. that requirements are set for employee participation in all phases of the activities in matters that concern working environment and safety. To ensure that employees’ experience can also be used by players who as yet do not have their own operational organisation, players can draw on the experience of elected representatives from other players or contractors as well as relevant employee organizations.

Participation in management system
The second subsection governs the employees' right to participate in establishing, following up and further developing management systems. It is evident from the provision that the right to participation in connection with management systems also applies for the areas of external environment and the health legislation. For safety delegates and members of working environment committees, the requirement for participation in the establishment and maintenance of management systems is expressly stated in Sections 6-2 and 7-2 of the Working Environment Act. According to Section 3-1 of the Working Environment Act, the employer shall carry out systematic health, safety and environment work in cooperation with the employees and their representatives. In addition, it is evident from Section 4-2, first subsection of the Working Environment Act that the employees and their representatives shall participate in the design of systems used in planning and design of the working environment. Reference is made to the preparatory work to the Working Environment Act, especially Odelsting Proposition No. 50 (1993-1994), which elaborates what is meant by elected representative.

Information on administrative decisions
The third subsection continues current law. The duty to inform the employee representatives of decisions is assigned to the party the administrative decision is directed towards. Who shall be informed will vary from case to case. To reach all affected parties, it can e.g. be necessary to inform the coordinating working environment committee for fields or the employee organisations represented at the workplace. Which parties shall be informed, will be determined in each individual case. Where an organised safety delegate service has been established, this service should normally be informed first.

Details regarding execution of participation
In connection with major and more comprehensive matters such as organisation and development work and development and modification projects, plans for participation should be established. Such plans can e.g. show the relevant processes where participation shall take place, who is the employees' representative or representatives, schedules and meeting plans, what competence is necessary, etc.
The requirement for employee participation entails that employees with sufficient knowledge and experience participate in preparation of relevant analyses to ensure that matters of significance for working environment and health are explored. The requirement for employee participation also entails that all affected employees are informed about the results of relevant analyses as well as the importance of the results for the execution of work.
In connection with tender processes or entering into contracts that entail material changes in work organisation, manning or technology, the employee representatives on the working environment committee shall, according to Section 7-2 of the Working Environment Act, have the opportunity to participate in matters that can be of importance for the working environment.
According to Section 4-2, first subsection of the Working Environment Act, employees and their representatives shall participate in development work that concerns the design and organisation of work in the enterprise. This applies e.g. to the design of methods, procedures and instructions of significance for one's own work situation.
The safety delegate shall be informed of conditions and incidents within his/her own area that shall be reported to the authorities, cf. Sections 29, 30, 31, 32 and 36 of the Management Regulations, cf. Section 6-2 of the Working Environment Act.
The Regulations of 6 December 2010 relating to organisation, management and participation (in Norwegian only) provide supplementary provisions regarding the choice, functions and tasks of working environment committees and safety delegates.
The Regulations relating to Section 78 of the Petroleum Act govern safety delegates' access to the workplace for the purpose of safeguarding contractual tasks.