Requirements for health and safety cooperation

Foreign businesses operating temporarily in Denmark and foreign posted employees are covered by Danish regulations that set requirements for cooperation on health and safety in the business. The regulations vary according to how many employees there are in the business.

Danish regulations require that cooperation on occupational health and safety takes place through a Health and Safety Organisation (in Danish AMO). This applies when an employer has 5 or more temporary employees at a workplace and the work continues for longer than fourteen 14 days.

When calculating how many employees the business has, all employees at the temporary workplace who are not business or work managers must be included.

If there are fewer than 5 employees, or if work continues for a shorter period, a Health and Safety Organisation is not required but an employer is obliged to ensure the participation of employees in health and safety efforts while these are obliged to take part in the cooperation.

If an employer has more than 35 employees at the temporary workplace for longer than 4 weeks, in addition to a Health and Safety Organisation they must also establish a Health and Safety committee.

The task of the Health and Safety Organisation is to help ensure a good working environment and prevent occupational health and safety problems.

Health and Safety Organisation

A Health and Safety Organisation is responsible both for daily and general tasks related to health and safety at work. In other words, the Health and Safety Organisation is an internal organisation for cooperation on health and safety in the business. The key figures in the Health and Safety Organisation are the employer or employer representative, an elected health and safety representative and appointed work managers. The chairperson must either be the employer or employer’s representative.

The employer decides the necessary number of members for the Health and Safety Organisation together with the employees and managers.

If an employer has more than 35 employees at the temporary workplace for longer than 4 weeks, the business must have a two tier Health and Safety Organisation, with Health and Safety groups and a Health and Safety committee.

Health and Safety group and Health and Safety committee

If an employer has more than 35 employees at the temporary workplace for longer than 4 weeks, the business must have a two tier Health and Safety Organisation, with Health and Safety groups and a Health and Safety committee.

One or more Health and Safety groups must take care of daily tasks. A Health and Safety group consists of an appointed manager and an elected health and safety representative.

The overall tasks of planning, managing and coordinating the business's cooperation on health and safety is carried out by one or more Health and Safety committees. A Health and Safety committee consists of managers and health and safety representatives from one or more Health and Safety groups.

Health and safety representative

Health and safety representatives who will participate in the Health and Safety Organisation or the Health and Safety committee must be elected from among the employees. Health and safety representatives represent employees and must therefore be in regular contact with them.

The health and safety representative is responsible for focusing on occupational health and safety in the business. Together with the work manager, the health and safety representative must help to ensure a good working environment and prevent Health and Safety problems. It is also the task of the health and safety representative to get managers and colleagues to be aware of and to promote their own and others' health and safety.

Election of the health and safety representative

The health and safety representative is elected by all employees in that part of the business he or she will represent in the Health and Safety Organisation. The health and safety representative is generally elected for two years at a time.

The health and safety representative is a part of the business's Health and Safety Organisation.

Occupational safety and health training

Employers must ensure that health and safety representatives and work managers in the Health and Safety Organisation have undergone a three-day Danish Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) training course.

The OSH training course must ensure that health and safety representatives and managers in the Health and Safety Organisation receive basic knowledge about working environments. The training course must also ensure that cooperation on the working environment takes place systematically and involves both managers and employees.

The OSH training course must be completed at the latest 3 months after the election or appointment of the health and safety representative or work manager to the Health and Safety Organisation.

If members of the Health and Safety Organisation have already undergone foreign OSH training, this must be supplemented by the Danish training course, unless the Danish Working Environment Authority, Arbejdstilsynet, considers the foreign training course to be sufficient.

It is important upon enquiries regarding the sufficiency of the foreign OSH training, that information is provided on, whether the foreign OSH training is similar to the three-day Occupational Safety and Health training course, or whether the application is regarding a different course entirely.