HSE cards in building and construction

All those who carry out work on building and construction sites, including both Norwegian and foreign workers, must have an HSE card (HMS-kort). The HSE card identifies the enterprise you are working for and who you are. The HSE card helps to provide a better overview of the organisations present on a building and construction site.

The image depicts the HSE card as it is from 2020

An HSE card for building and construction from 2020.

Employer’s responsibility to order HSE cards

It is the employer who must ensure that anyone who carries out work on building and construction sites has a valid HSE card.

Ordering HSE cards

HSE cards are ordered via the website: www.hmskort.no
The HSE card is issued by Evry Card Services on behalf of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and costs NOK 130 including VAT and shipping costs.

When an employee leaves, their HSE card must be handed back to the employer. To avoid misuse, the card must be destroyed. 

The HSE card shows which enterprise you work for and must be returned to the employer at the end of the employment period. If the card is lost or stolen, the employer must register the card as lost and order a new card.

Anyone who is registered in the Register of Legal Entities with a formal role for the enterprise, may delegate the task of ordering HSE cards to others. In such cases, he or she must provide a personal power of attorney. The power of attorney may be of limited duration. Details of how to provide a power of attorney, and who is entitled to a power of attorney for your enterprise, are available on: hmskort.no.

Who checks HSE cards?

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway supervise the scheme.

When at a building and construction site, employees must wear their HSE card so that it is clearly visible. Upon request, the card must be shown to:

  • the Norwegian Labour Inspectorate, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, the Norwegian Tax Administration and the police
  • safety representatives and regional safety representatives
  • construction clients, construction clients’ representatives
  • the coordinator for health, safety and the environment (in accordance with the Construction Client Regulations)
  • the company responsible for coordinating safety measures (pursuant to Section 2-2 of the Norwegian Working Environment Act)

Note that the HSE card number must be added to the list of people carrying out work at the construction site, see Section 15 of the Construction Client Regulations.

Penalties for missing or invalid HSE cards

An employer or sole proprietorship which does not have an HSE card for its employees or itself will be ordered to obtain such cards by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority in the event of an inspection.

If the employer or sole proprietorship fails to comply with the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority’s order, operations may be suspended by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority until HSE cards have been obtained. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority can also impose a penalty for such violation. Particularly serious cases will be reported to the police.

Employers and sole proprietorships may be penalised if HSE cards are transferred to others.

The HSE card shows which enterprise you work for. It is only valid if the required registrations have been performed. Employees must be provided with new HSE cards if a company is bought out or merges with another company. If the employment ceases, the card will be invalid and must not be used.

The HSE card status shows the current status registered in the relevant registers on the relevant day. Please note that delays may occur when registering cards in the relevant registers. If the HSE card status shows that some requirements have not been fulfilled, this must be looked into to determine the cause.

The Norwegian Labour Inspectorate, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, the Norwegian Tax Administration and the police are entitled to seize invalid cards.

Can an employee start work before they receive their HSE card?

All those who work at building and construction sites must have a valid HSE card. There is no ban on working during the application period before the HSE card has been received, but the employer must be able to document that the HSE card has been ordered.

Before the HSE card has been received, the worker at the building and construction site must be able to document which enterprise he/she is working for. Such documentation may, for example, be a confirmation that the HSE card has been ordered or an employment contract. For some types of employment, an employer can order HSE cards before employment commences.

Provided the registration obligations are fulfilled, the enterprise should receive the HSE card within one week of ordering.

Please note that the contracting authority can impose stricter requirements in its contracts than those in the regulations. They might thus require all employees to have HSE cards when starting work at the building or construction site. The Norwegian Labour Inspectorate has no authority in respect of such contract requirements. This is a matter between the contracting authority and the contractor.

What is a building and construction site?

The requirement for HSE cards applies to all building, construction and installation work, as well as to corresponding work in the consumer market.

  • erection of buildings
  • interior fitting, decoration and installation work
  • installation and removal of prefabricated elements
  • demolition, dismantling, alteration and commissioning
  • cleaning and maintenance
  • general building operations, such as tunnels and bridges
  • excavation, blasting and other groundworks
  • other work carried out in connection with building and construction work, such as a temporary workshop for the maintenance of machinery at the building or construction site

The requirement for HSE cards also applies to the refurbishment (alteration) of existing buildings. This applies, inter alia, to the installation of electrical power supply networks, escalators, air conditioning systems, lifts, etc. which form an integral part of the building.

The replacement and maintenance of production facilities and industrial machinery does not constitute building and construction work. Employees whose duties are confined to this do not need an HSE card.

HSE cards are not required in fixed, permanent enterprises that carry out building and construction work. For example, shipyards and factories that produce prefabricated houses are not covered. There is also no requirement for HSE cards for snow clearance on roads outside building and construction sites.

Who must have an HSE card?

All employees that carry out work on building and construction sites, including:

  • Foreign employees employed by foreign companies on assignments at building and construction sites in Norway. This also applies to short-term assignments.
  • Sole proprietorships (including those who run the proprietorship alone).
  • Hired workers. It is the staffing enterprise (the employer) which is responsible for ensuring that these workers are provided with an HSE card.
  • Employees who perform support functions such as canteen operation when they are permanently established inside the site perimeter. Cleaners must have HSE cards for cleaning companies instead of HSE cards for the building and construction industry.
  • People who regularly transport goods to building and construction sites.

Not everyone who undertakes work experience or training on a construction site needs to have an HSE card:

The HSE card scheme applies to the following work related to training and work experience:

  • Apprentices on standard apprenticeship agreements are employed by the company. They must therefore have HSE cards. The company must register them in NAV's Aa register, and they can then apply for HSE cards for the apprentices in the usual way.
  • Pupils in primary and lower secondary school or upper secondary education who have work placements in companies under the auspices of the school are not considered to be employed by the company. They cannot therefore have HSE cards and must instead carry a confirmation from the school.
  • Persons on different deployment measures financed by NAV (formerly called apprentices on NAV initiatives) are not considered to be employed by the company. They cannot therefore have HSE cards and must instead carry a confirmation from NAV.
  • Refugees who receive work training/work experience through an introduction programme are not employed by the company where they receive the training. They cannot therefore have HSE cards and must instead carry a confirmation from the municipality that they attend an introduction programme. 

The confirmation of training or work placement must include the participant’s name, date of birth, organisation number of the enterprise that provides the training and the duration of the training/work placement.

Workers who are employed by several enterprises must have an HSE card for each enterprise.

Conditions which must be met before an enterprise can order HSE cards

Persons performing a formal role for the enterprise, as registered in the Register of Legal Entities, can log in to hmskort.no.

After logging in, he or she can grant a power of attorney to others so that they see the employees’ personal data, status of the HSE cards and order new HSE cards. 

You will need a name, photograph and other valid photo identification for each employee to order their HSE card. In some cases, you will also need a national ID number or a D number.

D-numbers and the corona outbreak: Delayed ID controls

As a result of the corona outbreak, the Tax Administration have closed their offices that carry out ID controls for foreign workers who must have a D-number.

The Tax Administration therefore will allow ID checks to be done retrospectively, so that they can still issue D-numbers.

Read more about how to proceed here: Coronavirus - important information from the Tax Administration (skatteetaten.no)

The enterprise and employees must be registered in the following registers in order to obtain HSE cards:

All enterprises, both foreign and Norwegian, that carry out commercial activity in Norway must have an organisation number. This also applies to sole proprietorships. Everyone who works in Norway must be employed by an enterprise registered in the Register of Legal Entities.

Registration is carried out by completing the form: Coordinated register notification – BR-1010 (brreg.no)

For more information, contact the Brønnøysund Register Centre: www.brreg.no

All Norwegian employers must register both Norwegian and foreign employees in the Register of Employers and Employees (the NAV Aa register). This is usually done each month by submitting the “A notification” (A-melding).

For more information about the NAV Aa register see nav.no

You can order HSE cards for employees provided it is 30 days or less until the period of employment begins and provided they are registered in the Aa register.

Note that even if employer’s national insurance contributions are paid for the employees, they must be registered in the Aa Register. 

If you cannot find an employee in the list of employees on www.hmskort.no, you should check that you or your employees have has been registered under the correct organisation number.

Employees who are to be issued with HSE cards must have either a Norwegian national ID number or a D number from the National Registry (Folkeregisteret).

A D number is a temporary identity number assigned to a foreign national who plans to stay in Norway for less than six months. A D number is usually assigned when a person applies for a tax deduction card. Applicants must visit a tax office or Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) in person to have their identity verified.

The corona outbreak and D-numbers: Delayed ID controls

Read more here: Coronavirus - important information from the Tax Administration (skatteetaten.no)

For more information about how to apply for a national ID number or a D number, see the Norwegian Tax Administration. Here you will also find more information about tax offices performing ID verifications.

The holder of a formal role in a foreign enterprise (such as must be registered in the Register of Legal Entities/Register of Business Enterprises), must submit an application for a D number to the register.

For D numbers for employees on assignment in Norway, see below: “Obligation for foreign companies carrying out assignments in Norway to submit reports to the Norwegian Tax Administration”.

An enterprise that outsources assignments (valued above NOK 20,000) to a foreign company or person resident abroad, must notify the Norwegian Tax Administration’s Assignment and Employee Register (OAR).

The contractor must report the names of the employees who will participate in the assignment in Norway. All employees reported to the register will be assigned a D number after the registration has taken place.

For more details see: The Assignment and employee register (OAR) (the Norwegian Tax Administration)

In order to obtain HSE cards, all enterprises which are subject to value added tax (VAT) must be registered in the VAT Register.

Businesses which sell goods or services subject to VAT must notify the county tax office with details of their enterprise. A business must be registered in the VAT Register when its turnover subject to VAT exceeds NOK 50,000 over a 12-month period.

The tax office and the Register of Legal Entities have a registration form (Coordinated register notification). For more information see: www.altinn.no/en

Recently established enterprises with a turnover of less than NOK 50,000 during the last 12 months, should not register in the VAT register.

Enterprises in Svalbard and in certain industries are also exempt from VAT registration. For more information about such enterprises, visit Altinn’s website :Exemption from calculation of Value Added Tax (altinn.no)

These enterprises must log in to hmskort.no and confirm that they will not be registered in the VAT register by ticking the relevant box. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority will submit information to the tax office on a regular basis to ensure that the tax authorities can check the self-declaration.

When performing a search on validity of HSE cards, newly established enterprises (less than three months old) will always be shown as having fulfilled the obligation for VAT registration. For enterprises established more than three months ago, the VAT registration status will be changed and show that it has not yet been determined whether the obligation for VAT registration has been met with regard to the HSE card in question. It is then expected that enterprises will fulfil the NOK 50 000 turnover requirement, triggering a duty to register in the VAT register. When ordering new HSE cards and for an HSE card status search to show that the registration requirement has been met, the enterprise must complete a self-declaration confirming that it has not yet earned more than NOK 50 000.

Read more about requirements for registration in the VAT register and documentation of non-fulfilment here:
Certificate for tax and value-added tax – RF 1316 (skatteetaten.no)

Staffing enterprises are companies which are primarily involved in the hiring out of labour in Norway. These enterprises must be registered in the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority’s Register for Staffing Enterprises before they can apply for HSE cards for their employees.

See: Staffing enterprises

Exceptions which require special registration before HSE cards can be ordered

In some cases, an enterprise or a person should not be enrolled in the relevant registers. In such cases, the enterprise will be automatically refused when it applies for HSE cards. In order for applications to be successful, information must be entered in a register administered by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. This applies to e.g. employees participating in permanent adapted work through NAV. In such cases, contact hmskort.no.

Rights under the Personal Data Act

A key principle in the Personal Data Act is that people must have greater control over information about themselves. This control is partly achieved through a requirement for people to be informed about information which is being held about them, through the right of access to information and through strict requirements regarding when personal data can be used. You have a right to demand that erroneous or incomplete information about you be corrected.

Read more about personal data on the ordering page for HSE cards: Privacy and cookies (hmskort.no)

Regulations

On HSE cards in the Working Environment Act: Section 4-1 (7) of the Working Environment Act
On HSE cards in building and construction: Regulations on HSE cards on building and construction sites (in Norwegian)
On requirements for recording HSE card numbers in overview lists: Section 15 of the Construction Client Regulations 


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