Safety and Health

Foreign workers have a higher risk of work accidents than their Norwegian colleagues. Workers in the industry and construction sector are exposed to the highest risk, regardless of nationality. 

The reasons why foreign workers have a higher risk of work accidents are many and complex. The reasons are for instance: language barriers, that they more often are employed in sectors with high risks, many are hired labor and therefore not an integrated part of the safety culture at the work place. Foreign workers often work long hours, which might be another risk factor.

Focus on training

When employing foreign labor, it is especially important for the employer to ensure that satisfactory training is provided and understood. The employee is obliged to use protective equipment and to comply with safety instructions. Linguistic and cultural barriers may prove to be major challenges.

Rules for Health, Safety and Environment

Working conditions are regulated by both legislation and agreements. An agreement sets out normal pay and working conditions. The most important of these agreements is the collective pay agreement concluded between the central confederations of employees and employers.

There are also agreements that apply to individual workplaces, concluded between the employer and the employees’ representatives. Legislation regulating working conditions applies to all employees.Two of the most important Acts that apply to employees are the Working Environment Act and the Holidays Act.

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority is the public body responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the Working Environment Act are complied with.

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has offices throughout Norway and provides information to both employees and employers. Inspectors from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority visit undertakings in order to check the conditions there. You can ask the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority for guidance. The employees there are required to treat all information as confidential. If you complain about conditions at the workplace, your name will therefore not be given to your employer unless you so wish.