“This study of the role and function of work safety delegates is the first of its kind”, says project manager Hans Torvatn of SINTEF, who does research on working life. Torvatn and his colleagues have gathered data from no fewer than 1647 Norwegian work safety delegates on behalf of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise and the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions. In Norway, companies with more than ten employees have been legally required to operate a safety delegate system since 1977.
“These results demonstrate that safety delegates are more important and more active than we had previously thought, and that they are regarded as partners by company management. Our main finding is that delegates actually make use of their strongest weapon – their right to call a halt to operations, and that this seldom produces negative consequences in the form of sanctions or career damage for them,” says Torvatn.
Twenty percent of the work delegates had exercised their right to halt operations, while as many again had considered doing so. Exercising this right contributed to a permanent solution of the problem in no fewer than 85 percent of cases. Those who had considered stopping operations said that management had promised to solve the problem in 70 percent of cases, and in 58 percent, the problem found a concrete solution without operations having to be halted.
“This shows that the right to bring work to a stop significantly raised the percentage of successful outcomes.”
One of the questions asked by the researchers was whether the right to stop work led to sanctions or negative consequences for safety delegates’ careers.
“Here we come up against a sort of “whistleblower” problem”, says Torvatn. While as many as 84 percent of those whom we questioned were quite certain that their decision to call a halt to company operations had no negative effects on their careers, six percent wholly or partly agreed that their careers subsequently suffered. One out of every ten respondents answered that they were later subjected to sanctions.
“There is quite obviously a good deal of room for improvement in the management teams of these companies. Generally speaking , this is a matter of raising the level of consciousness regarding the rules of the game in Norwegian work life.
The right of Norwegian safety delegates to halt the activity of a company is something special in an international context. That the employees’ representative can demand such a stop on grounds of health, safety or the environment would be unthinkable in most other countries. But now we can confirm that we have a system that largely works in practice. This is probably due to the fact that we tend to have low levels of conflict in Norwegian companies”, says Torvatn.
The project was financed by the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise via the General Agreement Joint Measures Scheme.
Aase Dragland | alfa
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences