The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority is a governmental agency under the Ministry of Labour, focused on occupational safety and health.

Organisation and Contact Information


The Labour Inspection Authority has approximately 600 employees and consists of a central office - the Directorate, seven regional offices and 16 local offices throughout the country. The Directorate in Trondheim regulates the agency's overall strategy, programmes and information. The district offices guide and supervise individual enterprises in local communities.

Contact Information

Contact the Directorate at:

Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, Arbeidstilsynet
Postboks 4720 Sluppen
7468 Trondheim

Telephone: (+47) 73 19 97 00
Fax: (+47) 73 19 97 01

Laws and Regulations

Laws and regulations are the foundation of all the Labour Inspection Authority's activities. We have administrative, supervisory and information responsibilities in connection with the following acts:

  • The Working Environment Act
  • The Annual Holidays Act
  • The National Holidays Act
  • Certain sections of the Smoking Act

The Working Environment Act

The Working Environment Act applies to all land-based operations with employees.

The employer is responsible for complying with the requirements of the act, and for ensuring that the enterprise maintains a healthy and safe working environment. These responsibilities are explained and reinforced by the regulations relating to internal control.

The Act can be downloaded as a pdf-document from the column to the right.

Consequences of violating the Working Environment Act

In dealing with enterprises that do not comply with the requirements of the Working Environment Act, the Labour Inspection Authority may respond with:

  • Orders
    When statues and regulations are violated, the authority may give the enterprise an order to correct the situation within a given time limit. This is done in writing, and the recipent has the opportunity to lodge an appeal.
  • Coercive fines
    If the order is not complied with, coercive fines may be imposed. The size of the fine is dependent upon several factors, but the main rule is that it shall be unprofitable to violate the Working Environment Act.
  • Shutdown of operations
    An enterprise may be shut down with immediate effect if the life and health of it's employees are in imminent danger. Shutdowns may also be imposed when enterprises fail to comply with orders given.
  • Police
    The authority may report enterprises to the police for serious breaches of the act. A serious violation can result in fines, or, in the worst case, imprisonment.

Systematic Health, Environmental and Safety Activities in Enterprises - Internal Control Regulations

These regulations require enterprises to have written objectives in relation to health, environment and safety activities. Roles and responsibilities regarding health and safety issues must be clarified. Risk analysis and assessment must be carried out, and plans of action made and carried out according to assessments.

The person responsible for the enterprise must ensure that internal control is introduced and performed in the enterprise and that this is done in collaboration with the employees and their representatives.

The Internal Control Regulations (including comments) can be downloaded as a pdf-document from the column to the right. Please note that there have been made minor changes in these regulations after the translation was made.

Overall Objective and Strategies

The agency's overall objective is a healthy working environment for all, safe and secure employment conditions and meaningful work for the individual.

The Labour Inspection Authority encourages enterprises to work systematically towards compliance with the working environment laws and regulations.


The Labour Inspection Authority oversees that enterprises comply with the requirements of the Working Environment Act. Supervision will mainly be aimed at enterprises with the poorest working conditions, where there is little willingness to correct problems and where the agency's efforts will have the greatest effect. This is done by:

  • Internal control audits
    Reviews of enterprises' internal control systems to reveal whether regulations and procedures are being followed. An audit can take place over several days.
  • Verifications/inspections
    Intermittent tests are used to check whether internal control systems function well and that companies meet legal requirements.
  • Investigating accidents
    All serious and life threatening accidents are investigated by the Labour Inspection Authority.

Guidance and Information

In addition to providing advice and guidance according to the Public Administration Act, the agency publishes a large amount of guidelines and brochures, the periodical Arbeidervern and participates in several Internet sites. The agency also prepares information material in connection with campaigns and other projects.

Campaigns and projects

Since 1991, the Labour Inspection Authority has been working systematically with industries struggling with major working environment problems. There have been campaigns in a number of sectors, including the health sector, hotels and resturants, construction, transport, agriculture and the police.

The purpose of these campaigns has been to motivate individual enterprises to focus upon their own working environment and make improvements through internal control routines.

Single day campaigns with mass inspections and broad media coverage are carried out several times each year. They are usually focused on a single issue, like the existence of written contracts of employment, proper labelling of chemicals etc.

Occupational Safety and Health - Information in English

Some of the agency's information is available in English:

The posting of workers to and from Norway

When a Norwegian company posts employees to another EU/EEA country, and when foreign companies post workers to Norway, there are certain rules that apply depending on what the situation is.

Identity cards in the building and construction industry (ID-cards)

The introduction of identity cards is a measure aimed at achieving more effective control of employees’ health, safety and working environment as well as greater accountability in the construction industry.

Regulations regarding workers from the new EU-countries

As a precaution against social dumping, transitional rules apply for residents from Romania and Bulgaria from 1 May 2009, but the transitional rules have been discontinued for the new member states from 2004.

Foreign agricultural labour

Here you will find terms and conditions of employment, relevant regulations and information about pay and working hours for employers in agriculture and agriculture-related industries that use foreign labour.

Requirements for registration of staffing enterprises

All staffing enterprises engaged in the hiring out of labour in Norway have a duty to report these activities to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, so that they can be registered in a public register of staffing enterprises.

Hiring in employees?

An English version of our information regarding the hiring in of employees can be found on the website of the Norwegian Petroleum Direcorate:

Information for work migrants

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration maintains a site in English about rights, opportunities and obligations in Norway for foreigners issued with a work permit. It should answer the most important questions that migrant workers have about living in Norway.

Further information in English

A few of our laws and regulations are in English, as well as a few publications and various material. Here you will find a link to either read, download or order this material.

See also

Rules and regulations