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Tripartite Workshop on health, safety and environment in the workplace in the pilot sector


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Title: Tripartite Workshop on health, safety and environment in the workplace in the pilot sector

Tripartite Workshopon health, safety and
environment in the workplace in the pilot sector
Energy with the participation of Norwegian
  • Health, Safety and Work Environment in Energy
    supply industry in Norway
  • Henning Solhaug
  • Sofia, 2-4 June 2010

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • About the Norwegian electricity supply industry
  • The Norwegian model
  • Laws and regulations
  • The role of the safety representatives
  • OSH challenges in the electricity supply industry
    in Norway
  • The EL IT OSH strategy

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Consumption of electricity in Norway is high. 4,8
    million inhabitants 120 130 TWh/year
  • Hydro electric power dominant (96)
  • High number of companies (159 in total in
    generation and grids, most of them vertically
  • Mainly owned by local municipals/county
    authorities (52 of production capacity),and
    central authorities (36 ) grids the same
  • Liberalized since 1991

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Monopoly (grids) regulation
  • Few regulations on generation varying prices on
  • A high number of mergers
  • Independent subsidiaries, outsourcing to external
  • Steep fall in investments
  • Downsizing 50 less employees in grid
    undertakings from 1994 1999 today 10 000

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • EL IT Workers Union
  • - 38 000 members 8 000 in electricity supply
  • - Mostly skilled/unskilled workers
  • Strategy
  • - Public ownership
  • - Production based on renewable
  • - Stop outsourcing
  • - Industrial democracy
  • - OSH cooperation and strong local unions

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • The Nordic/Norwegian model
  • Strong welfare state generous social security
  • Collaboration between industrial partners and
    government on OSH regulation
  • Industrial democracy (Basic agreements, national
    agreements, workers representatives in company
    boards, safety representatives and working
    environment committees, collaboration on industry
    policy etc)
  • High union density

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • The Working Environment Act
  • Section 1-1. The purpose of the Act
  • The purpose of the Act is
  • a) to secure a working environment that provides
    a basis for a healthy and
  • meaningful working situation, that affords full
    safety from harmful
  • physical and mental influences and that has a
    standard of welfare at all
  • times consistent with the level of technological
    and social development of
  • society,
  • b) to ensure sound conditions of employment and
    equality of treatment at
  • work,
  • c) to facilitate adaptations of the individual
    employees working situation in
  • relation to his or her capabilities and
    circumstances of life,
  • d) to provide a basis whereby the employer and
    the employees of undertakings
  • may themselves safeguard and develop their
    working environment in
  • cooperation with the employers and employees
    organizations and with
  • the requisite guidance and supervision of the
    public authorities,
  • e) to foster inclusive working conditions.

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Section 2-1. Duties of the employer
  • The employer shall ensure that the provisions
    laid down in and pursuant to this Act are
    complied with.
  • Employees shall cooperate on the design,
    implementation and follow-up of the undertakings
    systematic work on health, environment and
    safety. Employees shall take part in the
    organized safety and environmental work of the
    undertaking and shall actively cooperate on
    implementation of measures to create a
    satisfactory and safe working environment.

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Section 3-1. Requirements regarding systematic
    health, environment and safety work
  • (1) In order to safeguard the employees health,
    environment and safety, the employer shall ensure
    that systematic health, environment and safety
  • work is performed at all levels of the
    undertaking. This shall be carried outin
    cooperation with the employees and their elected
  • (2) Systematic health, environment and safety
    work entails that the employer shall
  • a) establish goals for health, environment and
  • b) have an overall view of the undertakings
    organization, including how responsibility, tasks
    and authority for work on health, environment and
    safety is distributed,
  • c) make a survey of hazards and problems and, on
    this basis, assess risk factors in the
    undertaking, prepare plans and implement measures
    in order to reduce the risks,
  • d) during planning and implementation of changes
    in the undertaking, assess whether the working
    environment will be in compliance with the
    requirements of this Act, and implement the
    necessary measures,
  • e) implement routines in order to detect,
    rectify and prevent contraventions of
    requirements laid down in or pursuant to this
  • f) ensure systematic prevention and follow-up of
    absence due to sickness,
  • g) ensure continuous control of the working
    environment and the employees health when
    necessitated by risk factors in the undertaking,
    cf. (c),
  • h) conduct systematic supervision and review of
    the systematic work on health, environment and
    safety in order to ensure that it functions as

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Section 3-3. Occupational health services
  • (1) The employer is obliged to provide
    occupational health services for the undertaking
    if so necessitated by risk factors in the
    undertaking. The assessment of whether such an
    obligation exists shall be made as part of the
    implementation of the systematic health,
    environment and safety measures.
  • (2) The occupational health service shall assist
    the employer, the employees, the working
    environment committee and safety representatives
    in creating safe and sound working conditions.
  • (3) The occupational health service shall have a
    free and independent position as regards working
    environment matters.

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Section 4-1. General requirements regarding the
    working environment
  • (1) The working environment in the undertaking
    shall be fully satisfactory
  • when the factors in the working environment that
    may influence the employees physical and mental
    health and welfare are judged separately and
    collectively. The standard of safety, health and
    working environment shall be continuously
    developed and improved in accordance with
    developments in society.
  • (2) When planning and arranging the work,
    emphasis shall be placed on preventing injuries
    and diseases. The organization, arrangement and
    management of work, working hours, technology,
    pay systems, etc. shall be arranged in such a way
    that the employees are not exposed to adverse
    physical or mental strain and that due regard is
    paid to safety considerations.
  • (3) The undertaking shall be arranged for
    employees of both sexes.
  • (4) Passageways, sanitary facilities, work
    equipment, etc. shall to the extent possible and
    reasonable be designed and arranged so that
    employees with disabilities can work at the

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Section 4-2. Requirements regarding arrangement,
    participation and development
  • (1) The employees and their elected
    representatives shall be kept continuously
    informed of systems used in planning and
    performing the work. They shall be given the
    training necessary to enable them to familiarize
    themselves with these systems, and they shall
    take part in designing them.
  • (2) The design of each employees working
    situation shall pay regard to the following
  • a) arrangements shall be made to enable the
    employees professional and personal development
    through his or her work,
  • b) the work shall be organized and arranged with
    regard for the individual employees capacity for
    work, proficiency, age and other conditions,
  • c) emphasis shall be placed on giving employees
    the opportunity for selfdetermination, influence
    and professional responsibility,
  • d) employees shall as far as possible be given
    the opportunity for variation and for awareness
    of the relationships between individual
  • e) adequate information and training shall be
    provided so that employees are able to perform
    the work when changes occur that affect his or
    her working situation.
  • (3) During reorganization processes that involve
    changes of significance for the employees
    working situation, the employer shall ensure the
    necessary information, participation and
    competence development to meet the requirements
    of this Act regarding a fully satisfactory
    working environment.

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Obligation to elect safety representatives
  • (1) Safety representatives elected at all
    undertakings. Less than ten employees parties
    may agree in a different arrangement or not to
    have a safety representative.
  • (2) Number of safety representatives according
    to of undertaking, nature of work and working
    conditions in general.
  • (3) Undertakings with more than one safety
    representative shall have at least one senior
    safety representative, who shall be responsible
    for coordinating activities of safety

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Duties og safety representatives (1)
  • safeguard the interests of employees in matters
    relating to the working environment
  • Shall particularly ensure That employees are not
    exposed to hazards, safety devices and personal
    protective equipment are provided, employees
    receive the necessary instruction, practice and
    training, work is arranged so that employees can
    perform the work in a proper manner with regard
    to health and safety
  • If circumstances that may result in health
    hazards, immediately notify the employees, or
    contact employer
  • The safety representative shall be consulted
    during the planning and
  • implementation of measures of significance for
    the working environment

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Duties of safety representatives (2)
  • The safety representative shall be informed of
    all occupational diseases, occupational accidents
    and near accidents in his or her area, of reports
    and measurements relating to occupational health
    and of any faults or defects detected.
  • The safety representative shall familiarize
    himself with current safety rules, instructions,
    orders and recommendations issued by the Labour
    Inspection Authority or the employer
  • The safety representative shall participate in
    inspections of the undertaking by the Labour
    Inspection Authority.

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • The safety representatives right to halt
    dangerous work
  • (1) If a safety representative considers that
    the life or health of employees is in immediate
    danger and such danger cannot be averted by other
    means, work may be halted until the Labour
    Inspection Authority has decided whether work may
    be continued.
  • (2) The halting of work and the reason for this
    shall be reported without delay to the employer
  • (3) The safety representative is not liable for
    any loss suffered by the undertaking as a result
    of work being halted

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Costs, training, etc.
  • (1) The employer shall ensure that safety
    representatives receive the training necessary to
    perform their duties.
  • (2) Safety representatives shall be allowed the
    time necessary to perform their duties within
    normal working hours.
  • (3) The employer is responsible for the costs of
    training and other costs associated with the work
    of the safety representatives.
  • (4) The employer shall ensure that the office of
    safety representative shall not involve a loss of
    income for the safety representative or in any
    other way impair his terms and conditions of

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Undertakings which regularly employ at least 20
    (50) employees shall have a working environment
    committee, when required by one of the parties on
    which the employer, the employees and the safety
    and health personnel are represented.
  • Employer and employees shall have an equal number
    of representatives. Representatives of the
    employer and of the employees shall be elected
    alternately as chairman of the committee.

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • OSH challenges (1)
  • Most of the costs to society of poor working
    conditions come from work-related absence and
    disability, which are mainly (83 of the all
    diagnoses) caused by musculoskeletal disorders
    (43) and psychological diseases (40)
  • Traditional problems electric shocks ,
    accidents in tunnels, falling to lower levels
  • New problems Precarious work result of
    outsourcing, temporary work, job insecurity ,
    stress and anxiety following new technology,
    increased dependency on electricity, harassment
    and violence
  • Ever ongoing organisational changes following
    liberalization and privatization causes stress
    and breaking up collectives

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • OSH challenges (2)
  • Restructuring following liberalization has lead
    to fragmentation of labour relations and
    employment conditions
  • Increased workload due to understaffing
    increased intensity of work, increased overtime
  • Regulation has lead to restructuring of value
    chains, demerging and increased workload

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Better planning
  • Analysis
  • Identify factors that may cause problems in the
    workplace, physical and mental
  • Risk assessment
  • What factors may cause injury?
  • What factors may cause risk?
  • Planning
  • How can problems be solved?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Target date for implementation?
  • Follow-up
  • What decisions have we made?
  • What have we done/ not done?
  • Why?
  • Have any changes occurred underway?

OSH in electricity supply industry
  • Better politics
  • Defending the welfare state
  • Flexicurity?
  • More research on OSH related topics
  • Fulfilling the standards in the Working
    Environment Act and other acts and regulations
  • Better training and competence of the safety
  • Building local and regional network for the
    safety representatives
  • Safety representatives in the boards of the local
  • Strengthening the cooperation with employers and
    political authorities
  • Industrial democracy and work autonomy
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