Title translated into English
The working environment guide
The web-guide is an e-learning tool consisting of 39 slides with written information, seven animations, eight videos with interviews with Inspectors in the Labour Inspection Authority, and a “tool box” with relevant links pertaining to the different themes in the guide. 1. Organising the health and safety work in the enterprises Information on different roles, responsibilities and activities concerning health and safety: the overall responsibility of the employer, the importance of worker participation, the role of health and safety representatives and support from health and safety specialists. This part also stresses the importance of health and safety training and using risk assessments to maintain a systematic approach to health and safety. 2. Risk assessments This part gives an introduction to risk assessments, what the purpose is and why it is necessary that the employees also take part in this. It also highlights certain areas where the health and safety legislation has special requirements regarding risk assessments, e.g. working with chemicals or dangerous work equipment. Another section explains how the risk assessments must be followed by a plan for managing the risks in the enterprise. This part also has a section about young workers and why employers shall do special risk assessments concerning workers under the age of 18. 3. Safe work This part highlights what is most important in order to create safe work places and working safely. It has information on general requirements concerning the arrangement and equipment of the workplace which apply to all workplaces, and on special requirements which apply to some workplaces with certain risks, such as chemical and biological hazards. 4. The Working Environment legislation The three other parts mention requirements concerning the working environment, but specific regulations or links to sections in the Working Environment Act are not mentioned. Instead this fourth part in the web-guide gives an overview of all the legislation concerning OSH. This part lists the most important requirements in the Working Environment Act and in the six main regulations concerning health and safety. One example explains how the regulations are structured, but there are no links to the actual regulations. Toolbox At the end of the web-guide there is an overview of relevant links to pages on the Labour Inspections website. They link to thematic pages where the users can find more elaborate information on the themes covered in the guide. You also find links to relevant laws and regulations.
Key message: OSH-work does not need to be complicated. Get started with the Working Environment Guide. Aim: To give the target group a brief introduction to the central themes in organizing, developing and maintaining a systematic approach to occupational health and safety.
December 2011 marked the end of a long-standing work where 47 regulations were restructured into just six new Regulations pursuant to the Working Environment Act. This restructuring was mainly done to make it easier for employers and employees to find and make use of the Regulations which applies to them. One of the intended benefits of this restructuring was that it should also be easier to work systematically with health and safety in the enterprises. The new Regulations entered into force on January 1st 2013. The Labour Inspection Directorate was asked by the Ministry of Labour to use the new regulations as an opportunity to raise the awareness of systematic OSH-work in Norwegian enterprises. Not having a working health and safety system is also the single most prevalent breech of the working environment regulations in Norway (10 000 in 2012). The work that eventually led to the development of this web-guide, begun late in 2011 with a study of our main target groups; employers and safety representatives. We sought to learn more about how the target groups used the actual legislation in their OSH-work and how they obtained information about regulations. Representatives from the trade unions and the employer's organisations also took part in this study as focus groups. The main findings, in short: The majority of workers do not use the actual regulations on OSH at all, but use information tailored to their needs, workers involved in hazardous work use specific regulation pertaining to this activity, and OSH-professional and OSH-management use regulations more regularly. Overall: Little focus on systematic OSH-work among non-OSH professionals. In addition, we had some concern relating to our website. Although we often get praise for our 120 thematic pages on various OSH topics, we were also concerned with a lack of introductory information on how to get started with systematic OSH-work. Part of the reason for making this web-guide was to alleviate some of these concerns. Making the web-guide The guide was made in cooperation with a firm that specialises in e-learning. The main target groups were employers and safety representatives in small and medium-sized enterprises. Overall goal lengthwise was that it should not take more than 30 min. to complete. We used workshops with different experts/inspectors in order to decide the content of the guide. We decided to use both animations and videos to highlight what is important in each section. We then worked to shorten and structure the text and the script for the animations. The videos were made so that they could be used independently of the guide for other purposes. We set up interviews with our own inspectors, where they in their own words talked about the topics in the guide. We then edited these videos and used the most fitting parts. The texts and scripts were presented to reference groups within the Labour Inspection Authority and among the social partners who both gave us useful advice on the content. If we were to do this project again, we would perhaps have used more time on preparing the content before involving the external e-learning firm. Although we had people testing the tool before launch, we probably also should have scheduled more time for testing during the development phase.
Target group: employers and safety representatives in small and medium sized enterprises.
Contact details Editor
The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
, Norway-7468 Trondheim
Contact details Production company
Storgata32, Norway-0184 Oslo