Requiring vaccination or a Covid-19 certificate in order to travel out to the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) has become a new issue.
A requirement of this kind is defined as a control measure pursuant to Norway’s Working Environment Act (WEA). The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has supervisory powers under the WEA, and can conduct checks to ensure that a control measure is implemented in accordance with the regulations.
When introducing or amending control measures, they must meet the requirements in section 9-1 of the WEA as well as those specified in section 9-2 on due process and worker participation. Put briefly, these require that a measure must be objectively justified and that it must be discussed with the elected representative of the employees.
The PSA has the same responsibilities as the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority in these cases, and has taken the same approach as the latter with regard to how the requirements for control measures during the pandemic are to understood. (In Norwegian only)
See also Guidelines for control and supervision in the workplace (in Norwegian only) for answers to frequently asked questions about the employer’s responsibilities, duties and opportunities when introducing control measures.
Supervisory responsibility for health and hygiene in petroleum activities on the NCS rests with the county governor of Rogaland.
The PSA has accordingly asked this office to assess the content of the control measure concerned – in other words, whether a medical basis exists for requiring vaccination or a Covid-19 certificate.
The conclusion from the county governor is that no scientific medical basis exists for refusing to allow unvaccinated personnel to travel offshore.