HSE cards in building and construction

All enterprises that carry out work on construction and building sites, including both Norwegian and foreign enterprises, are required to provide their employees with an HSE card.

The purpose of the HSE card is to identify the individual employee and state the person’s employer. In this way, the HSE card helps to provide a better overview of the organisations present on a construction and building site. The HSE card is not valid as an ordinary identification document.

Ordering HSE cards

HSE cards can be ordered in a number of stages via the website: www.byggekort.no.

The enterprise must first create an orderer-ID at byggekort.no. Once this has been done, the enterprise can then order the HSE cards themselves.

The enterprise must obtain a photograph, signature and other valid identification from each employee in order to order their HSE card. The employees must be registered in all relevant registers in order to obtain an HSE card. The card order will be rejected if this is not in order.

Who checks HSE cards?

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and Petroleum Safety Authority Norway supervise the scheme (Petroleum Safety Authority Norway is responsible for supervising enterprises on the shelf and at major onshore petroleum facilities).

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

  • Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, the tax authorities and the police
  • safety representatives and regional safety representatives
  • construction clients, construction clients’ representatives
  • coordinator for health, safety and work environment (in accordance with the Construction Client Regulations)
  • the company responsible for coordinating safety measures (in accordance with Section 2-2 of the Work Environment Act)

Employer’s responsibility to order HSE cards

The employer or sole proprietorship is responsible for ensuring that everyone who performs work at construction and building sites has a valid HSE card.

The HSE card is the property of the employer in the same way as other work equipment and must be returned to the employer at the end of the period of employment. The employer must therefore have complete control and administrative responsibility for the HSE cards used in its operations.

When an employee leaves, their HSE card must be handed back and registered as blocked in the order solution for HSE cards and destroyed in order to prevent misuse. 

Where the task of ordering HSE cards is delegated to someone outside the enterprise, the employer must authorise the appointed representative to act on its behalf. This authorisation should also clearly state who is responsible for registering HSE cards as blocked/lost.

Note that the HSE card number must be added to the overview list of people who perform work at the construction site; see Section 15 of the Construction Client Regulations.

What is a construction and building site?

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

  • erection of buildings
  • interior fitting, decoration and installation work
  • installation and removal of prefabricated elements
  • demolition, dismantling, alterations/rebuilding and restoration
  • cleaning and maintenance
  • general building works, e.g. tunnels and bridges
  • excavation, blasting and other groundworks
  • other work carried out in connection with construction and building work, such as temporary workshops for the maintenance of machinery which is used at the construction or building site.

The requirement for HSE also applies to the refurbishment (alteration/rebuilding) of existing buildings. This applies for example 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 construction and building work. Employees whose duties are confined to this area do not need an HSE card.

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

Who must have an HSE card?

All employees who carry out work at construction and building sites, including:

  • Foreign employees employed by foreign companies on assignments at construction and building sites in Norway. This also applies to short-term assignments.
  • Sole proprietorships (including those who run the proprietorship alone).
  • Hired workers. In these cases, it is the manpower enterprise (the employer) who is responsible for ensuring that these workers are provided with an HSE card.
  • Employees who perform support functions such as cleaning, canteen operation, etc. when they are permanently established outside the site perimeter.
  • Persons who regularly transport goods to construction and building sites.
  • Persons on various measures paid by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV)

Instead of an HSE card, these employees must have a copy of a contract between NAV and the employer, or some other confirmation from NAV.

  • Pupils on work experience placements in connection with school.

Instead of an HSE card, these workers must have confirmation from their school.

  • Refugees on an introductory programme arranged and paid for by the municipal authority who have been posted on work training/work experience.

Instead of an HSE card, these workers must have confirmation from the municipal authority that they are on an introductory programme, with a start date and end date for the work experience period.

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

In order to apply for HSE cards, the enterprise and employees must be registered in the following registers:

All enterprises, including both foreign and Norwegian enterprises, which carry on 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 which is 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:
Telephone: + 47 75 00 75 00
Fax: + 47 75 00 75 05
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm
www.brreg.no

The Aa Register contains an overview of employment relationships in Norwegian enterprises. The register links together employer’s organisation numbers and employees’ national ID numbers or D numbers. All Norwegian employers must notify the register of their employees, including both Norwegian and foreign employees (via the a- melding).

Note that even if employer’s National insurance contributions are paid for the employees, they must be registered in the Aa register. This can be done electronically via www.altinn.no.

It should also be noted that owners of shares in a private limited company are considered to be employees of the company and must be registered in NAV’s Aa register if they receive an ordinary salary.

For more information, contact the NAV Aa register:
Telephone: (+47) 62 02 40 50
Fax: (+47) 62 02 40 01
E-mail: nav.registerforvaltning@nav.no
Opening hours: 8.30am-3.30pm Customer Centre

Employees who are to receive an HSE card must have either a Norwegian national ID number or a D number.

Norwegian national ID number

A national ID number is a numerical code which all registered people resident in Norway must have. National ID numbers are generally allocated to people who were either born in Norway or registered as an immigrant in the country.

D number

Foreign workers who come to Norway in order to work are assigned a D number. The D numbers fulfils the same functions as the national ID number of Norwegian citizens. A D number is assigned when a person applies for a tax deduction card. Applicants must attend a tax office or Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) office in person for an identity check.

See overview of relevant tax offices which carry out ID checks 
See overview of Service Centres for Foreign Workers (SUA) offices

For D numbers, contact the Central Tax Office - Foreign Tax Affairs (SFU):
Telephone: + 47 51 96 96 00
Fax: + 47 51 96 96 96
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm
www.skatteetaten.no

Businesses and public sector bodies must provide the Norwegian Tax Administration with information on assignments or sub-assignments which are carried out at construction and building sites in Norway when the contractor is a company or person resident abroad.

Read more about the obligation to report information to the Norwegian Tax Administration (English)

For more information, contact the Central Tax Office - Foreign Tax Affairs (SFU):
Telephone: + 47 51 96 96 00
Fax: + 47 51 96 96 96
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm

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

Businesses which sell goods or vatable services must notify their business to the county tax office. A business has a right and an obligation to be registered in the VAT Register when its turnover has exceeded NOK 50,000 over a 12-month period.

The tax office and the Register of Legal Entities have a registration form (Coordinated register notification).

Registration can also be done via www.altinn.no

The tax office is responsible for deciding whether the conditions for registering in the VAT Register are met. Those who fulfil the conditions for registration will be registered with an organisation number from the Register of Legal Entities.

Manpower enterprises are enterprises 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 manpower enterprises before they can apply for HSE cards for their employees.

See: Staffing enterprises

Exceptions which require contact with the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority before HSE cards can be ordered

In some cases, an enterprise must notify the Aa Register or register in the VAT Register. In such cases, the enterprise will be automatically rejected when it applies for HSE cards. In order for applications to be successful in these cases, information must be entered in a register administered by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

Contact the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority before you apply for HSE cards in the case of these exceptions:

Spouse of owner of sole proprietorship

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • name and national ID number (11 digits) of the spouse
  • organisation number of the sole proprietorship
  • orderer ID held by card issuer Oberthur Technologies

Partners in partnerships with joint liability (DA) and partners in general partnerships (ANS)

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • name and national ID number (11 digits) of the partners
  • organisation number of the DA or ANS
  • either an extract from the Register of Legal Entities and the Register of Business Enterprises or a certificate of incorporation from the Register of Business Enterprises stating the names of the partners in the partnership.

Board chairmen of enterprises which they are not an employee of

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • name and national ID number (11 digits) of the board chairman
  • organisation number of the company
  • register extract from the Register of Legal Entities and the Register of  Business Enterprises or a certificate of incorporation from the Register of Business Enterprises stating the name of the chairman of the company’s board.

To obtain a register extract:
See the information on «Extract of register».

The information must be sent by e-mail to byggekort@arbeidstilsynet.no or to:
Arbeidstilsynet
Postboks 4720 Torgard
7468 Trondheim
Norway
The envelope must be marked «Byggekort».

Municipal enterprises with institutional sector code 1510

Some municipal enterprises are exempt from the requirement to register for VAT because they carry on activity which is exempt under the VAT Act and associated regulations.

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • organisation number of the municipal enterprise
  • a reference to the provision of the VAT Act and associated regulations under which the enterprise is exempt

Hire of labour from foreign enterprises which do not have hire as an object

This applies to foreign enterprises without a registered business address in Norway which, despite not being a manpower enterprise, hires out a small proportion of its workforce to other enterprises in Norway.

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • The enterprise’s Norwegian organisation number
  • Extract from RF-1199, stamped with a code from with the Central Tax Office – Foreign Tax Affairs, or a receipt from Altinn.
  • A copy of the agreement with a Norwegian hire enterprise, in either Norwegian or English, confirming that there is a hire relationship between the parties.

See also the information on RF-1199 Information about contracts, contractors and employees. (skattetaten.no)

For more information about RF-1199, contact the Central Tax Office – Foreign Tax Affairs:
Telephone: + 47 51 96 96 00
Fax: + 47 51 96 96 96
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm
www.skatteetaten.no

Enterprises which have earned less than NOK 50,000 over a 12-month period

This primarily concerns recently established enterprises and foreign enterprises which have not previously fulfilled the turnover requirement in Norway.

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • The enterprise’s organisation number

If the enterprise is less than six months old, it will be entered in the register without further documentation. Access will be deleted after three months, as it is assumed that the turnover requirement of NOK 50,000 will be met during this period and the enterprise will be obliged to register in the VAT Register.

In order to be entered in the register, other enterprises must obtain documentation (Certificate of tax and value added tax, RF-1316) because they have not fulfilled the turnover requirement. Contact the tax office regarding this or search for a certificate on the Norwegian Tax Administration’s website (skatteetaten.no).

The Regulations on HSE Cards also applies on Svalbard

The following documentation must be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority:

  • The enterprise’s organisation number
  • Foreign employees must have a D number and be registered in NAV’s Aa Register as an employee of the enterprise, or be registered with the Central Tax Office – Foreign Tax Affairs

Other enterprises which are not subject to VAT

In order to obtain HSE cards, other types of enterprise which are not subject to VAT must obtain documentation because they are not subject to VAT. Contact the tax office regarding this.

The information must be sent by e-mail to byggekort@arbeidstilsynet.no or to:
Arbeidstilsynet
Postboks 4720 Torgard
7468 Trondheim
Norway

The envelope must be marked «Byggekort».

Enterprises exempt from VAT registration which can apply in the normal way

Some enterprises which are exempt from VAT registration can apply in the normal way. This applies to:

Public sector enterprises not required to register in the VAT Register which are classified under the following institutional sector codes in the Register of Legal
Entities can apply for HSE cards in the normal way:

Norwegian Public Roads Administration: 6100
Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property: 6100
Norwegian Defence Estates Agency: 6100
Bane NOR: 6100
Municipal authorities: 6500
County councils: 6500

Training offices and stakeholder organisations (industry organisations and employer and employee organisations) can apply for HSE cards in the normal way.

Enterprises that let and/or sell real property can apply for HSE cards in the normal way.

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

It normally takes no more than a month after the start of the registration processes before HSE cards are issued. There is no ban on working during the application period until the HSE card has been received.

Overview of valid documentation which must be presented at the construction site if the employer has not received HSE cards for its employees:

New employee who has a national ID number/D number

Valid documentation: Documentation of the date on which the employment began and any extract from altinn.no concerning registration in the Aa Register. If the enterprise has an orderer ID, a rejection receipt from Oberthur Technologies can be accepted as valid documentation that the application process is under way.

New employee, foreign employee with Norwegian employer

Valid documentation: Certified copy of application for tax deduction card until a D number has been received and an application can be submitted for an HSE card.

Foreign employee on an assignment for a foreign employer

Valid documentation: Copy of RF-1199 until a D number has been received and an application for an HSE card can be submitted.

This concerns appointments which are of such short duration that it is not possible to obtain an HSE card before the employment or assignment has been concluded:

Foreign employees on one-off short-term assignment

Valid documentation: Copy of RF-1199 or extract from www.altinn.no stating the duration of the assignment.

Holiday cover staff

Valid documentation: Documentation of the duration of the employment by presenting the employment contract.

Have you had an application for an HSE card rejected?

The main reasons why applications for HSE cards are rejected are as follows:

If you experience problems logging in to www.byggekort.no, with the payment solution or with passport photographs or signatures, contact the card issuer Oberthur Technologies:

Oberthur’s helpline:
Tel.: 820 77 306
Open on weekdays:
8.30am – 11.00am
11.30am – 3.30pm
Calls cost NOK 14 per minute from the moment the service is selected.
(Available from Norway only)

During opening hours, www.byggekort.no also has a chat function

Contact NAV’s Aa Register (for Norwegian enterprises) or the Central Tax Office – Foreign Tax Affairs (SFU) (for foreign enterprises) to check whether you or your employee is correctly registered under the appropriate organisation number.

Central Tax Office – Foreign Tax Affairs (SFU):

Telephone: + 47 51 96 96 00
Fax: + 47 51 96 96 96
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am – 3pm
www.skatteetaten.no

Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV)

Telephone: 62 02 40 50
Fax: 62 02 40 01
E-mail: nav.registerforvaltning@nav.no
Opening hours: 8.30am-3.30 Customer Centre.

Check whether the enterprise is registered in the VAT Register. If the enterprise is not subject to VAT, contact the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

Orderers must be an employee of the enterprise they are acting on behalf of. Check that they are correctly registered in NAV’s Aa Register.

If the person concerned is not required to register in NAV’s Aa Register, contact the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

See above concerning NAV’s Aa Register and the VAT Register.

Period of validity and renewal of HSE cards

HSE cards will remain valid for the duration of the employment, subject to a maximum of two years at a time. This is because the card must give accurate, factual information insofar as is possible.

If the employment or enterprise ceases or the card’s period of validity expires, the card will be invalid and must not be used. The employer must ensure that any expired HSE cards are sent to Oberthur Technologies for destruction.

New cards must be issued to the employees if a company is bought out or merges with another company, or changes organisational form. A photograph, signature and identification must then be resubmitted.

On the first renewal (after two years with the same employer), it will not be necessary to submit a new photograph, new signature or a copy of identification for employees of the enterprise who need to renew their existing HSE card. However, all information will be deleted if the enterprise does not renew the HSE cards within two months after the expiry date of the HSE cards.

The enterprise’s orderer must log in to the enterprise’s order page on www.byggekort.no and follow the instructions under «Fornyelse» (Renewal) in the menu.

If an employee has left the company, he or she must be marked as «blocked» on the enterprise’s orderer page. All expired HSE cards must be sent to Oberthur Technologies for destruction. If you have forgotten the password, you can request a new one at www.byggekort.no.

The new HSE cards will be sent to the enterprise’s registered business address. The employer itself will be responsible for distributing the new cards to its employees when it collects the old cards for destruction.

After a period of four years with the same employer, all documentation must be resubmitted.

At the end of a period of employment, employees must return their HSE card to their employer.

If an employee leaves the enterprise, the enterprise must collect the card and send it to Oberthur Technologies for destruction:

Oberthur Technologies AS
Att: HMS-kort
Postboks 8113
4068 Stavanger
Norway

Loss of HSE cards

The employer must be notified immediately if an HSE card is lost or stolen. The employer/sole proprietorship must immediately notify Oberthur Technologies, so that the card can be invalidated and a new card issued. The procedure for this is as follows:

  • Go to byggekort.no
  • Log in using your orderer-ID and password
  • Bring up the card by searching under «Mine Kort» (My cards) and mark the card as both lost and blocked

If a lost card is found again and a new card has already been issued, the lost card must be sent immediately to Oberthur Technologies for destruction.

Important information concerning price and ordering

HSE cards cost NOK 114 inc. VAT + carriage.

Many consultancy agencies offer employers help in obtaining HSE cards. There is nothing to stop enterprises from using consultants to help them in the application process, but you should note that, in addition to having to pay the consultant, enterprises will also be invoiced by the card issuer for the actual HSE cards.

Orders are placed in two stages. First, the enterprise must register an orderer. Then, once a person has been registered as an orderer and an orderer ID has been received, an application can be submitted for the HSE cards. 

Penalties in the event of missing or invalid HSE cards

Employers and sole proprietorships which have not provided their employees or themselves with an HSE card will be ordered by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority to obtain such cards. If the employer or sole proprietorship fails to comply with the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority’s order, the employer’s operation may be suspended until HSE cards have been obtained. Particularly serious cases will be reported to the police and may result in imprisonment for up to three months.

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

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

Rights under the Personal Data Act

The Personal Data Act accords people many rights regarding information about themselves.

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 right of access to information and through strict requirements regarding when personal data can be used.

See Section 2, Section 18, Section 19 and Section 20 of the Personal Data Act (lovdata.no).

The controller is the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority administers the scheme on behalf of the ministry, and Oberthur Technologies (formerly NORSIK) issues the cards on behalf of the ministry.

The information is used to identify you as an employee and your employment, so that you can be confident that no one can misuse your identify in order to obtain an HSE card.

The person your employer has designated as their orderer will be able to view the information which has been registered about you at any time on your employer’s pages which are administered by the card issuer. This information includes name, national ID number and nationality. In addition, the person concerned will be able to see your photograph and your signature which is on the HSE card.

Under Section 19 first paragraph (c) of the Personal Data Act, it is voluntary to disclose the information, but the information is also necessary to obtain an HSE card.

You can contact Oberthur Technologies and ask them what type of information they have about you. You are entitled to a reply within 30 days.

See Section 27 and Section 28 of the Personal Data Act (lovdata.no).
You have a right to demand that erroneous or incomplete information about you be corrected.

As a general rule, enterprises must correct incomplete or erroneous information on their own initiative. It is not always easy for a party that processes large amounts of data to be aware that information is missing or incorrect. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority therefore recommends that everyone makes active use of theirs right to access information, and to notify the enterprise if something is wrong.

The enterprise must delete or block information which is no longer needed for the purposes of the registration. This does not apply if the information must be retained in accordance with other legislation, such as the Accounting Act or health legislation.