How does Arbejdstilsynet conduct inspections?

The Danish WEA – Arbejdstilsynet – inspects companies in Denmark to ensure that employees have a safe and healthy working environment. There are various types of inspection, some focusing on a specific safety and health issue while others review a greater extent of a company's working environment.

The Danish Working Environment Authority – Arbejdstilsynet – inspects all companies that operate in Denmark – including offshore installations and foreign companies temporarily performing services in Denmark. Arbejdstilsynet also monitors whether foreign companies have provided notification to the Register of Foreign Service Providers (RUT), and that the notification is accurate and complete.

Inspection of foreign companies and control operations

Arbejdstilsynet inspects foreign companies in Denmark to ensure compliance with Danish safety and health legislation, and that they have correctly notified the Register of Foreign Service Providers. Inspection visits are performed in the same manner as for Danish businesses and the same response types are applied.

Together with SKAT (the tax authorities) and the Danish police, Arbejdstilsynet also carry out a series of countrywide and local operations to check workplaces. During these operations, Arbejdstilsynet, SKAT and the police monitor and check conditions at companies in various sectors across the country.

Arbejdstilsynet especially looks at whether foreign companies have provided notification of their services to the Register of Foreign Service Providers (RUT) and if the safety of employees is sufficient.

SKAT checks, among other things, tax and VAT compliance while the police examine whether foreign employees have work or residence permits, for example. These control operations may also encompass smaller building and construction sites in residential areas or other locations.

Between operations, the three authorities also conduct outreach activities in relation to foreign companies the authorities have encountered or become aware of through notification.

Read more about providing notification to the Register of Foreign Service Providers (RUT)

Inspection of offshore installations

The Danish Working Environment Authority – Arbejdstilsynet – also carries out safety and health inspections of offshore facilities. 

The inspection focuses on how companies themselves monitor risk factors through their safety and health management system. The management system must ensure and document that requirements are fulfilled and that the performance of work and the design of the installation and workplaces is such that there is least possible risk for persons and property. The inspection is adapted to the specific circumstances and can cover both general conditions or may focus on one area in particular.

Read more about safety and prevention on offshore installations

Offshore inspection

Other types of inspection

The Danish Working Environment Authority - Arbejdstilsynet – also carries out a series of other inspections:

Risk-based inspection is primarily for companies and industries that Arbejdstilsynet expects will encounter the greatest problems with the working environment. The purpose of inspection is to check whether the company meets health and safety regulations and to respond if there are significant health and safety problems.
A detail inspection is an examination of a specific and limited safety and health issue in a company. For example, checking whether a company has complied with Arbejdstilsynet’s notices or investigation of a workplace accident. An inspection can also take place following a complaint about the working environment.
Arbejdstilsynet inspects whether manufacturers and suppliers of machinery and products are in compliance with working environment act regulations regarding products.
Risk inspection is focused on preventing major accidents involving hazardous chemicals.

How are inspections carried out?

The Danish Working Environment Authority – Arbejdstilsynet – is entitled to enter a company’s premises or workplace without a court order. This means that the company must give Arbejdstilsynet access even though this may disrupt work. The inspection is carried out by an inspector. The inspector is a qualified supervisor with broad professional competence in the area of occupational health and safety. The inspector must show identification.

During inspection, the inspector will survey the business and assess whether the working environment is in order. The areas looked at will include, for example, the company's own health and safety efforts, risk assessment, ergonomic conditions, noise levels and risk of accidents. The inspector is entitled to interview all employees and to take samples from the business for analysis and to photograph working situations in the company.

The business must be prepared to set aside the time necessary to review the working environment together with the inspector.

The response options of Arbejdstilsynet

If it emerges during the inspection that a company is in breach of health and safety regulations, Arbejdstilsynet will serve notice that the company must rectify the situation. Arbejdstilsynet has a range of response options, including notices and guidance. In cases of serious violations of the Working Environment Act, Arbejdstilsynet can initiate criminal proceedings. If health and safety conditions are satisfactory, the supervision ends when the inspection is completed.

Read more about the response options of Arbejdstilsynet