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Inspection of enterprises

The Danish Working Environment Authority carries out inspections at enterprises – including foreign enterprises with employees – to check that their health and safety conditions are in order.

The control measures of the Danish Working Environment Authority

The Danish Working Environment Authority supervises whether Acts and rules in the field of safety and health at work are observed, among others through inspection visits and guidance of the enterprises and their safety organisations. The aim is to make the enterprises capable of solving their issues in relation to health and safety at the workplace.

The different forms of sanctions of the Danish Working Environment Authority, i.e. improvement notices, legal charges, administrative fines and guidelines - will depend on both the enterprise’s actual working environment standards and on its own efforts.

As an executive authority, the Danish Working Environment Authority focuses in particular on enterprises with poor safety and health conditions and no serious policy in relation to working environment issues. 

Checking your health and safety conditions

At an inspections by the Danish Working Environment Authority we check compliance with the Danish health and safety rules. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the health and safety rules.

Danish Working Environment Authority's inspectors are, on production of proper identification, entitled to have free access to public and private workplaces to the extent required to enable them to execute their duties.

It is an unannounced visit where we check your enterprise by walking around to assess whether your health and safety conditions are in order. We look at conditions such as the enterprise’s own health and safety performance and ergonomics, noise and the risk of accidents, etc.

Use of interpreters

We can call an interpreter, if necessary. The interpreter will interpret over the telephone during the actual visit.

Interpretation is provided free of charge for your enterprise.

Contravention of the Danish Working Environment Act

If your enterprise fails to comply with the health and safety rules, we will direct you to remedy matters immediately. We can issue an improvement notice to your enterprise to remedy matters – immediately, if necessary (immediate improvement notice). We can also issue a prohibition notice against further work until matters have been remedied. In more serious cases we can report your enterprise to the police and you may have to pay fines.

In case of many or complex and serious health and safety problems we will direct your enterprise to use an authorized health and safety consultant. A health and safety consultant must advise your enterprise on preventing and solving health and safety problems. Your enterprise must pay for the services of the consultant.

Agreement to problem-solve

The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) can offer enterprises a voluntary agreement to problem-solve, if we find a health and safety problem that is relevant to more workplaces in the enterprise, or if we suspect a complex health and safety problem. The agreement to problem-solve provides enterprises with the opportunity to make an effort regarding their working environment by solving a health and safety problem, and getting help with this from the Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA).

When making an agreement to problem-solve on wholesome problems, the enterprise agrees to develop a solution to the problem in more of the workplaces where it is relevant, and in return WEA will not issue a notice on the problem. When making an agreement to problem-solve on complex problems, the enterprise agrees to develop a solution to the problem that is found, and in return WEA will stop investigating the complex problem. We do not offer solution deals for problems that need to be solved immediately.

Offer of additional guidance

The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) may offer additional guidance to enterprises, if they have been issued an improvement notice on a health and safety problem (immediate or with time limit). The enterprise can then choose if it want to receive the additional guidance. Receiving (or not receiving) the additional guidance has no legal implications for the enterprise nor the acceptance/rejection of their solution to the health and safety problem of the improvement notice.

The additional guidance entail a dialogue with the WEA inspector on how the enterprise can solve the specific problem and how the enterprise can strengthen the general work with the working environment. When needed, WEA offers the use of interpreters to aid the dialogue with the enterprise and their representatives present at the work site. It is highly recommended for the enterprise to have some representatives from the management present when receiving the additional guidance. The enterprise can choose the specific topic(s) of the dialogue, when receiving more notices from WEA.

Offers of additional guidance is implemented as an experiment. This implementation means that some enterprises will not receive an offer of additional guidance, some will receive an offer of the inspector visiting the workplace later and some will receive an offer of a meeting with the inspector over the phone. The notification of the offer will inform on which of the two offers the enterprise get, how to accept the offer and how to choose the content of the dialogue.

In some cases, the offer entails giving the additional guidance immediately after the inspection. The inspector will then inform the enterprise on site and the enterprise then immediately choose to receive it or not. The acceptance/rejection of additional guidance will not affect the improvement notice(s) the enterprise receives.

In a few cases, the offer entails a choice of a visit or a phone call from the inspector. When these enterprises do not have address in Denmark, they can either request a meeting at a temporary work site or choose a phone call. The inspector will inform the enterprise on site of the inspection that the enterprise will receive an offer. The notification of the offer will contain information on how to accept the offer and how to choose form and content of the dialogue.

Stricter supervision with a fee

Enterprises that have been issued a prohibition notice on continuing their work after an inspection are subsequently subject to stricter supervision, whereby the Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) follows up on the conditions. We charge a fee for stricter supervision. The fee is DKK 10,000 in 2020, but this will be adjusted annually.