- COMPULSORY AND FORMAL ISSUES
- MATERIAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT
- IMPROVEMENT NOTICES
Companies with employees are required to carry out an assessment of their working environment at least every three years.
The employees must assess their physical and psychological working environment in writing. An action plan must then be drawn up so that management and the employees have an agreement on how and when any working environment problems are to be solved.
There is a great freedom of method when it comes to how a risk assessment is carried out. The Danish Working Environment Authority and many professional organizations have prepared a checklist for the task and for various trades. It is recommended to use these known solutions, as it ensures that you ask the right questions.
It is recommended that the employees be given a check form which they then have time fill out and answer. Talk about – possibly in the working environment group – whether the answers should be anonymous. There may be advantages in the answers having the employees’ names on them as it can be both beneficial and necessary to be able to elaborate on the answer in order to achieve the best solution. Conversely, it may provide some more honest answers if the check forms are submitted anonymously.
Once the employees have answered the questions and handed in the check forms, it is the company’s job – together with the company’s Health and Safety Organisation (AMO) – to prepare an action plan.
The action plan is an “agreement” on which working environment problems are to be solved, how they are to be solved, who is responsible for its implementation, and when it must be solved. The action plan is signed by management and an employee representative – remember to write the date.
The action plan must be available to the employees and the Danish WEA.
MELAU – Arbejdsmiljø ApS can help your company prepare the risk assessment.
A chemical risk assessment is an overall risk assessment of the working conditions of employees working with dangerous substances and materials. Among other things, the assessment must take into account what dangerous substances and materials are used and formed through various work processes, how the employees may be exposed to them (through inhalation, skin contact, etc.), and what health and safety risks are involved in using the chemicals.
Many problems in working with dangerous chemistry are due to employees working with the substances not being adequately trained or instructed. The workplace must therefore use the chemical risk assessment as a starting point when employees are trained and instructed in working with dangerous chemistry, and the employer must supervise the work.
MELAU – Arbejdsmiljø ApS can help your company prepare a chemical risk assessment.
The employer is responsible for ensuring that the work carried out is in compliance with the Working Environment Act.
In all companies with 10 or more employees, the collaboration on working environment must take place in a Health and Safety Organisation (hereinafter HSO). HSO is an internal organisation of the working environment collaboration.
The key figures are the employer or their representative, elected occupational health and safety representatives, and appointed supervisors.
In companies with up to nine employees, there is no requirement to form an HSO. However, the working environment must be systematised, and the employer must ensure that the employees have the opportunity to make suggestions for the working environment. In addition, the employer must ensure that the employees receive information that is relevant to the working environment.
In all companies, there is a requirement to complete an annual working environment discussion.
At this working environment discussion, the employer, the HSO and/or the employees agree on how to cooperate on the working environment in the coming year. At the same time, it is assessed how the past year’s working environment work has gone.
On construction sites, in some cases there are different working environment rules than there are at permanent workplaces. This may partly be the requirement for organisation, welfare measures, etc.
Many of the serious accidents – including fatalities – happen on construction sites. It is therefore important to have a special focus on the working environment and safety.
It is important to ensure that scaffolding is set up properly, that chemical products are used correctly, that there is proper lighting, that employees are instructed and that there is enough time to complete the task so that you don’t choose to compromise on safety.
In many construction cases, the building owner must appoint an occupational health and safety coordinator. This is relevant when two or more companies are working on a construction case at the same time. Construction cases are divided into small, medium-sized, and large construction cases.
Small construction cases are defined as construction cases where fewer than five people are employed at the same time. Here, the occupational health and safety coordination must be carried out by a person who has expert knowledge in the construction field and who has knowledge of the actors in construction.
Medium-sized construction cases are defined as construction cases where five to 10 people are employed are the same time. Here, the occupational health and safety coordination must be carried out by a person who – in addition to what applies to small construction cases – also has the necessary knowledge of health and safety issues within the construction field.
Large construction cases are defined as construction cases where more than 10 people are employed at the same time. Here, the occupational health and safety coordination must be carried out by a person who – in addition to the requirements for small and medium-sized construction cases – also has practical experience in managing construction work and who has completed a Danish Occupational Health and Safety course for coordinators of health and safety work within the construction field.
The occupational health and safety coordination must start as early as in the design phase where a Health and Safety Plan (HSP, or PSS in Danish) is started. Before the construction phase begins, the HSP must be handed over and updated with an overview plan of the organization of the construction site, an organizational diagram, a contingency plan, etc.
During the construction phase, in the case for large construction cases, safety meetings and inspection tours must be held every two weeks.