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A new development for occupational health services in Norway

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Author(s): Arve Lie

Journal: SJWEH Supplements
ISSN 1795-9926

Issue: 7;
Start page: 48;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: quality | discussion paper | OHS | Norway | legislation | occupational health services

ABSTRACT
Occupational health services (OHS) in Norway are multidisciplinary. The OHS units are quite small, compared to other European countries, with an average of four full-time OHS professionals covering 2000 employees. All are financed by employers. Approximately half of the working population is covered by an OHS. Norwegian work environment legislation sets out which enterprises are obliged to have an OHS, what types of services are to be delivered, and the importance of the impartiality of the OHS. The main focus of an OHS should be to play an expert and advisory role in the health, environmental, and safety policy and activities of the enterprise. A recent governmental report proposed a certification system for OHS in Norway and a further expansion of obligatory OHS to include some new lines of businesses, for example the healthcare and education sectors. The key objectives and tasks for future OHS should be the same as today, but with an increased effort on the reduction of sickness absence and promotion of early return to work.
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