Below you can read about the different types of regulation that exists within health and safety, and to what extent it is binding for the companies.
The Working Environment Act
The Working Environment Act contains the general provisions concerning the working environment. The law is binding on all citizens. Violation of the regulations can lead to sanctions. Arbejdstilsynet is the Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) that oversees compliance with the regulations. In many cases, Arbejdstilsynet will serve notice that the regulations must be complied with before considering sanctions.
Read the Executive Order on the Working Environment Act (with subsequent amendments)
The law is laid down in executive orders that are compulsory for citizens. Violation of an executive order can lead to sanctions but in many cases the Danish WEA – Arbejdstilsynet – will serve notice that the regulations must be complied with before considering sanctions.
Executive orders regulate specific sectors, for example, the building and construction industry. But there are also executive orders that regulate across sectors, for example, the executive order on the performance of work.
Read the Executive Order on Performance of Work (with subsequent amendments)
WEA (Working Environment Authority) guidelines indicate how working environment regulations should be interpreted. WEA guidelines are used to
- elaborate and explain terms and phrases in the law and executive orders
- explain how to fulfil the demands of the regulations according to Arbejdstilsynet’s practice
- inform about Arbejdstilsynet’s practice on the basis of rulings and judgements, among others.
- explain working environment legislative areas and context etc.
Are WEA guidelines compulsory?
WEA guidelines are not binding on employers or others but they are based on regulations that are binding. The Danish Working Environment Authority – Arbejdstilsynet – will not take any further action in those situations where, for example, a company has followed WEA guidelines.
Employers can choose other methods than those presented in the WEA guidelines. In that situation, Arbejdstilsynet will evaluate whether the method chosen is equally satisfactory and complies with regulations.
When a WEA guideline repeats compulsory legislative or executive order requirements employers must follow this method. It will always be clearly stated in WEA guidelines when there are compulsory requirements for methods etc.
The Danish Working Environment Act is on a current basis supplemented by Executive Orders, which further describe how the purpose of the Act can be achieved in specific areas.
Overview: Executive Orders pursuant to The Danish Working Environment Act