The Danish Parliament recently introduced a Bill to generally tighten the current working environment certification scheme for the purpose of improving its quality.
With the Bill, the Danish Parliament is looking to introduce increased supervision of enterprises having been issued with a working environment certificate. Under the current scheme, the Danish Working Environment Authority will only carry out inspections of certified enterprises if there is a reason to do so, e.g. a serious accident that has taken place. The Danish Parliament is proposing a three-year trial period in which the Danish Working Environment Authority is to map the working environment of 500 selected enterprises which are already certified under the scheme. The Authority will then be allowed to carry out inspections of selected enterprises without a special reason.
Under the Bill, if the supervisory activities give rise to concern, the Working Environment Authority will not issue an order, but instead report the matter to the certification body. However, the Authority may remove the enterprise's certification smiley from the Authority's website until matters have been rectified/clarified.
If enacted, the Bill will also ensure that the supervisory and certification bodies will spend an increased amount of time checking the working environment of the individual enterprises when they apply for certification, in order to thereby strengthen the quality of the certification scheme. In addition, it is proposed to tighten the requirements to the working environment inspectors' professional skills level, particularly with regard to the psycho-social working environment.
At present, there is no requirement for certified enterprises to notify the supervisory and certification body on their own initiative of any occupational accidents or diseases that have been reported to the competent authorities. If enacted, however, the Bill will require certified enterprises to notify the supervisory and certification bodies of such accidents and diseases.
The content of the above is not, and should not be a substitute for legal advice.
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