We see that companies in Norway’s petroleum sector differ in the extent of their provision for worker participation. Most employers maintain that they depend on a committed and competent industrial safety service. Nevertheless, we see they can fall short when it comes to planning safety work, ensuring sufficiently early involvement, training, allocating the necessary time, and following up compliance with the regulations and their own routines.
We have therefore produced this simple checklist on making provision for worker participation.
- Does your enterprise have governing documents which explain how provision is made on a systematic basis for worker participation in HSE work (section 3-1, WEA)?
- What routines has your enterprise put in place to ensure sufficiently early involvement of the safety service and the AMU in issues which are significant for HSE work (section 13, FR)?
- Have the issues which call for involvement of the safety service and the AMU been clarified?
- Are regular meetings scheduled between management and the safety service?
- How has your enterprise ensured that safety delegates, managers and AMU members have the expertise required to handle HSE risk in their area? (sections 13, FR, 6-5, WEA, and 3-18, 3-19 and 3-20, OMEP)
- Is training offered quickly after the election of a safety delegate/AMU member?
- Does a safety delegate, manager and AMU member receive updated and relevant training on the regulations and risk conditions in their workplace?
- Is an assessment made of the type and content of the 40-hour course?
- Other expertise-building?
- How does your enterprise ensure that safety delegates and AMU members have the time needed to perform their safety duties (sections 13, FR, and 6-5, WEA)?
- Has time been allocated for involvement in plans and activities?
- Has enough time been allocated for preparing and performing safety delegate duties?
- Have safety delegates been given time off from regular work to do their duties?
- What routines has your enterprise put in place to follow up compliance with the regulations and its own governing documents on provisions for worker participation (section 21, MR)?
- When did your enterprise last conduct such a follow-up?
Key to abbreviations: AMU = working environment committee, HMS = health, safety and the environment, WEA = Working Environment Act, FR = framework regulations, MR = management regulations, OMEP = Regulations concerning organisation, management and employee participation
Worker participation (or industrial democracy) is a regulatory requirement in Norway. The principle is that the party exposed to risk should participate in decisions related to HSE.
One aim is to use the overall knowledge and experience of the workforce to ensure that issues are adequately clarified before decisions are taken. Safety delegates and members of the working environment committees have a special role in this respect.