When establishing a company in Denmark you will have to follow Danish rules on working environment in the workplace. The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) is responsible for instance inspecting the working environment in Denmark.
What are the main rules?
Most of the Danish rules are based on EU regulation. Therefore, the Danish rules are probably not far from the rules in your home country. However, the Danish regulation on working environment in the workplace is typically as strict as or stricter than rules in other EU countries.
It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure compliance with the working environment rules. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that the employees can carry out their tasks without compromising health and safety in the workplace for instance by giving them the necessary instructions.
The WEA has a priority focus on three key areas within working environment:
• Preventing accidents
• Preventing muscle and skeleton problems
• Psychological working environment
The rules on working environment are administered by the WEA through inspections on the workplace and guidance to companies. In Denmark, you will find that the WEA does a large number of inspections. When the WEA visits you for an inspection, they will check whether your health and safety conditions are in compliance with the working environment regulation. The WEA will for instance look at the company’s own health and safety performance, ergonomics, use of technical machines and dangerous chemicals.
When your company is inspected, you will need to have at least the following documents ready:
• Health and safety risk assessment (in Danish it is called an ‘APV’)
• A written company policy on smoking in the workplace and company cars
• Relevant instructions for use of machines and dangerous substances
In certain sectors, special sector rules may apply. For instance, the construction sector has a special set of rules relating to working environment. Contact the WEA or the relevant employers’ organization for information on rules for your sector.
The WEA also has workplace assessment checklists for specific sectors such as building and construction. These checklists are in English and can be downloaded at WEA’s website
Obligation for management and employees to cooperate on working environment
All companies with employees have to follow the rules on cooperation on health and safety at the work place. As a general principle, the employer has the responsibility that all work is carried out in a safe and secure manner. Management and employees both have the obligation to cooperate on working environment. The specific rules can be found here.
Among other things, as an employer you have the obligation to conduct a yearly discussion with your employees of the working environment in the workplace. During the discussion you should address the working environment situation in the company and ‘who does what’ in relation to working environment in the future.
When will I be inspected by the WEA?
As a general rule, inspections will be carried out unannounced. The WEA has the legal right to enter the work place of your company. The inspectors also have the right to speak with all employees.
What are the sanctions?
The WEA has the possibility by law to give you a sanction. There are generally three types of sanctions.
• You can be told to make changes to the working environment at the workplace immediately or within a time limit
• The WEA can close down your workplace if the working environment conditions are very dangerous
• The WEA can give you a fine
If you do not comply the WEA will ask the police to initiate criminal charges against you.
Where can I get more information on working environment rules?
You can get more information on working environment rules at the website of the WEA.