The scheme of regional safety representatives was established by the state on February 13th, 1981 and is a three-party collaboration between the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, employer organizations Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries and Norwegian Association of Heavy Equipment Contractors, and employee organizations Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions and Norwegian Union of General Workers. The scheme is financed by an annual fee that is paid by companies in the building and construction industry.
What's special about building and construction companies is that employees move from workplace to workplace. To reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, health problems and exclusion from employment in the industries, the state decided to create a scheme where safety representatives are mobile too, and can operate across companies within a geographic area.
The regional safety representatives can visit all places of employment in the building and construction industry. During the visits, the regional safety representatives should always check the following:
• If company has a working environment committee (if the company’s size requires them to have one)
• have elected safety representatives or signed an agreement regarding another scheme
• It is agreed who should be responsible for coordinating safety and environmental work in workplaces where several employers are present
At the request of the companies, the regional safety representatives can provide advice and guidance on safety work and working environment. At workplaces where a safety representative has not been elected, the regional safety representative can enter the role of the safety delegate and have the same rights and duties as an elected safety representative. In these workplaces the regional safety representative should:
• monitor the working environment and protect and safeguard the interests of the employees regarding working environment questions
• notify employees and employers of adverse conditions in the workplace
• advise employers on implementing measures
• immediately stop work in case of risk to workers' health and life (Working Environment Act § 6-3)